The body of a 19-year-old Suitland man was found lying outside the door of a gas station on Suitland Road early yesterday morning, Prince George's County police said. The man had been shot to death and the gas station robbed, police said.
Samuel Oropallo of 4122 Suitland Rd., day manager of the Red Head gas station at 4546 Suitland Rd., was found by a fellow employe at about 5:45 a.m., police said, 15 minutes before the station was scheduled to open.
Later, workers discovered that at least$100 in cash had been taken from the safe inside the station, which had been opened with Oropallo's keys.
"I think this was planned," said Max H. Vanderbun, who normally works the early shift at the station. "It was done by someone who had figured out how to use the keys on the safe."
Police said late yesterday that witnesses had seen a yellow truck parked near the station, which faces the Suitland federal center, at the time of the killing.
Witnesses described the truck as a four-wheel van with a separated cab and a box, painted yellow but with no markings. Police asked that anyone having information about the truck contact homicide detectives.
Oropallo had worked at the Red Head stations as a manager for about eight months, fellwo workers said yesterday. He lived with his mother and two sisters.
"He was easy to deal with," said Charles C. Clouser, sales supervisor for the company that owns the station.
"Our policy on robberies was simple," Clouser said. "Give them everything you have, don't fight, and if they want more, cll the supervisor for more money."
The station has been robbed several times, Clouser said.