A predawn robbery at an eastern San Diego County convenience store escalated Friday into a shooting that left a clerk dead and three teenage suspects under arrest.

The gunfire at the 7-Eleven in the 300 block of Jamacha Road in El Cajon was reported shortly after 2:30 a.m., according to police.

Patrol officers arrived to find the victim, 31-year-old Ronald Bailey of El Cajon, gravely wounded, Lt. Kevin MacArthur said. Medics took Bailey to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators subsequently determined that the deadly shooting occurred as three masked youths were robbing the business, and that the same trio of teens had carried out another holdup about two hours earlier at a 7-Eleven in Imperial Beach, the lieutenant said.

The names of the suspects, ages 14, 15 and 17, were withheld because they are minors.

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