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Suspect in slaying of 7-Eleven clerk is being treated at ECMC

Travis J. Zukic, charged in the 7-Eleven murder of Hannah Morse, is hospitalized at Erie County Medical Center, said John M. Ange, Zukic’s attorney.

“It may have to do with his alcohol addiction,” said Ange. “I do not want to interrupt any treatment he is receiving. I’ll wait until he’s in a state to communicate effectively.”

Zukic, 27, failed to appear Thursday morning in Cheektowaga Town Court for a felony hearing on the murder charge. His case was adjourned until 9 a.m. March 18.

Police believe Zukic shot Morse, 23, late Sunday morning while she was working at the convenience store at 475 French Road. Morse was believed to have been shot while 911 dispatchers were speaking with a caller reporting a man with a weapon at the convenience store. It's not clear whether Morse or someone else was making that phone call.

Officers confronted the shooter as he was leaving the store and fired at him, police said.

Zukic was arrested uninjured. Morse was taken to ECMC, where she died.

The store remained closed Thursday with newspapers on the windows and crime tape around the parking lot. Deliveries were being accepted Thursday morning with workers saying the store would open by the weekend. A memorial with flowers and stuffed animals was started in the lot.

Zukic was arraigned at town court shortly after the shooting and was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center, where he was ordered held without bail. Sometime during the next 48 hours, Zukic was taken to the medical center, according to Ange.

Zukic was described as a quiet young man by an employee of a liquor store behind the 7-Eleven in the Kelly Drive Plaza.

“I remember he frequently came in the store,” said Ron Godzich of the B&B Liquor Store. “One time he came in dressed up with cologne on, and I asked him what was up. He told me had a date. Lately I haven’t seen him in here. He usually bought a bottle of vodka.”

Zukic’s Facebook page indicated he was in a relationship as of Feb. 5. It also described him as a former emergency medical technician who lived in Cheektowaga. He graduated from Grand Island High School.

Morse was a college student working on a degree in video editing, according to an obituary posted on the website of the Taylor & Reynolds Funeral Home in Lockport.

A private service will be held at a later date, according to her family.

Relatives of Morse declined Thursday to talk with a Buffalo News reporter.

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