UPDATE: Police say murder of Kroger employee not random - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UPDATE: Police say murder of Kroger employee not random

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- St. Matthews Police now say the Kroger employee who was shot and killed on Saturday was targeted.

Meanwhile, the reward to find the killer of Jack Combs just got bigger -- it's now up to $20,000.

Police say a nine-person task force is working on the case, they have several leads, and they are not ruling out that more than one person may have been involved.

They say numerous groups and individuals have come together to up the reward, and that phones have been ringing off the hook.  Police are encouraging whoever was responsible for the shooting to come forward.

"If the person or persons responsible for this are interested in talking to the police, they need to do that right away. We encourage them to come in and give us their side to the story," said St. Matthews Police Officer Dennis McDonald.

Police say Comb was struck once in upper chest. Authorities with the St. Matthews Police Department are currently going through surveillance video.

"And that is something that the detectives, as you can imagine, are having to comb through- not minute by minute, but literally second by second," said Officer McDonald.  

They say they are following some leads, and they plan to question some people in the coming days.

Officer McDonald also announced that contributions from local businesses and private donors had increased the reward for information in the case to $20,000.

Earlier Wednesday, the reward increased to $10,000 when Commonwealth Bank & Trust Co. announced in a press release it was offering a $2,500 cash reward.

"We are saddened by this senseless crime and pray for his family," said Ann Wells, Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Bank & Trust Co.

A Commonwealth Bank branch is located directly across the street from Kroger where the crime occurred.

Previously, Kroger had announced that it will pay $5,000 for information, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227 is offering a $2,500 reward.

The shooting happened on the night of Saturday, Nov. 23. That's where Combs was killed when he walked out a door near the pharmacy at the end of his shift.

There have been a number of tips but still no arrests, so St. Matthews Police are now asking for information from the public.

"No matter how minor they thought it was or insignificant, it may be that one thing that we need to help solve this case," said Officer Dennis McDonald.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jack's family and our members employed at Kroger on Hubbards Ln.," said UFCW 227 President Marv Russow in a news release. "If anyone in the community knows anything that will help police find who is responsible for this terrible crime, please speak up."

Combs' murder has stunned the St. Matthews Police Department and community.

"They're worried," McDonald said, "They're worried about where they live, they're worried about where they're shopping."

"Mr. Combs was a great employee, he was highly thought of by his co-workers, very well liked," McDonald said. "That fact that it happened to him certainly shakes them up and the fact that it happened there is also of concern to them."

And that's why the St. Matthews Police Department is using all of its resources. "All of our detectives have dropped what they're doing and every one of them are working on this case right now," McDonald said.

Detectives have pieced together the last moments of the victim's life.

"Mr. Combs left work at around 10:00, he had parked his vehicle at the rear of the grocery," Officer McDonald said. "He had walked around to where his vehicle was parked. And as he approached, or actually at his vehicle, that's where he was shot."

After being shot, police say Combs made his way back to the front of the store to seek help, but died a short time later.

Police are now looking at every angle, including Combs's personal life.

"That's routine," McDonald said. "We're going to look at everything at this point, from Mr. Combs's background to, you know, what was going on in and around that shopping center at that time."

Anyone with information is asked to call St. Matthews Police at 502-893-9000. Callers can remain anonymous.

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