LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Thorntons employee in Prospect, Kentucky, died Thursday from injuries suffered during a Thanksgiving night robbery, according to Oldham County Police.
Police said two men hit Ralph Shain with a van on Nov. 28 after shoplifting from the Thorntons at 13302 West Highway 42.
Shain was transported to a hospital with what police called "lower body injuries." Maj. Neil Johnson with Oldham County Police confirmed Shain's death Thursday.
Police are still searching for the two suspects.
Now, Shain's family is left trying to figure out if they can afford his funeral. A GoFundMe page was created by Oldham County residents to help with funeral costs.
This is the man who died. Ralph Shain was popular with customers at Thornton’s, and now his family is trying to figure out if they can even afford his funeral. Because someone thought it was more important to speed away with stolen cigarettes. Very sad. @WDRBNews pic.twitter.com/YYJIAKO0Au— Sara Sidery (@SaraSideryWDRB) December 6, 2019
"He was probably the No. 1 worker at Thornton's," customer Chris Meeker said. "Everybody knows Ralph."
The kind, soft-spoken man worked behind the counter at the Thornton's off Highway 42. It seems rare in today's world, but customers like Greg Parker considered the gas station clerk a close friend.
"There's plenty of stores up and down 42 that I could get the same products from, but I would purposely go here, because I wanted to say hi to Ralph," Parker said outside of the gas station. "I'm gonna walk in that store and not see him again. And it's a shame."
Shain died at the hospital Thursday, one week after Oldham County Police said two cigarette thieves ran him over outside of the store on Thanksgiving night. It's devastating for those who saw him every day.
"He was just trying to stop them from stealing cigarettes," Meeker said. "All over some cigarettes — just a shame."
Police are now looking for the two unidentified male suspects, but pixelated surveillance images are all they have. Outside, cameras captured a darker-colored minivan but couldn't get a read on the plate.
The duo hit one car before running over Shain.
"I wish I could've been there when it happened and said, 'Ralph, let it go. It's not worth it over that,'" Parker said. "But that's not what he chose to do, and in his mind, he was trying to do that right thing."
And wanting to do the right thing, Parker said, was a testament to Shain's character. He now leaves a wife, daughter and customers questioning why stolen cigarettes could be more important than someone's life.
"Tragic that he's gone, over something so meaningless," Parker said.
If you have any information about the robbery, call Oldham County Police at 502-222-1300.
🚨ANYONE KNOW THESE GUYS? Police day they’re the suspects who stole cigs from the Prospect Thornton’s and then ran over the gas station worker who tried to stop them. That worker died today. @WDRBNews pic.twitter.com/rmNxz2Rv2I— Sara Sidery (@SaraSideryWDRB) December 6, 2019
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