More information surrounding death of Citgo worker in Bedford Twp.

Updated: Thursday, July 24, 2014
More information surrounding death of Citgo worker in Bedford Twp. story image

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - We're learning more about a Calhoun County gas station clerk who was brutally murdered and then robbed by someone she knew.

Police say Nicole Gates, a 27-year-old mother of three, was stabbed to death overnight.

It happened at the Citgo gas station at Hussey and West Michigan Avenue in Bedford Township, right before she was about to close the store at midnight.

Gates' parents say they found out what happened in the worst way possible--Wednesday morning they happened to drive by the Citgo station to get something to drink, only to find it in a web of police tape.

While investigators have been processing a crime scene that took the life of a young mother who had only been on the job for two weeks, Gates' parents say they hope people will remember their daughter as a smiling face who loved her children, tattoos, and animals.

Her mother tells Newschannel 3 that Nicole and the suspect, 30-year-old Shawn Pike, were only acquaintances, adding that friends had warned Gates about his dangerous past, which included prison time for attempted rape.

Investigators say as Gates was closing the store, Pike was there and waved her down.

She let him in and police say he began to rob the store.

"Anyone that's willing to do something like that to another human being then collect cigarettes and beer, that's not good," Battle Creek Police Detective Sergeant Jim Martens said.

Police say Pike took off with Gates' car and ditched it in the city.

Investigators got a lead that Pike and a friend were about to board a bus or a train on McCamly.

During the manhunt, viewers captured a chaotic scene on the Amtrak train with police climbing on board and halting service.

The Post Office across the street also went under a brief lockdown Wednesday morning, as men were taken into custody nearby.

Former workers like Taylor GLidden say working the night shift is extremely dangerous, and the Citgo workers at that particular station are alone all night.

"A lot of people are worried, like, 'Are you here alone?'" she said. "I would have liked double coverage for my own safety."

Pike is expected to be officially arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Another man with him at the time of his arrest may face charges of being an accessory after the fact.

His name has not yet been released.

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