Austin Shell longtime customers talk about the Yaseen Naz

Austin gas station shooting: Longtime customers gather behind clerk charged with murder

The Austin Police Department (APD) arrested a 25-year-old man for murder following a shooting in East Austin. That hasn’t stopped longtime customers from coming to Yaseen Naz’s defense.

Police said around 11:14 p.m. Sunday that officers responded to a shooting at the Shell gas station at 4509 E Boulevard Martin Luther King Jr.

When officers arrived, they found Marquis Demps, 42, inside a car in the gas station parking lot with gunshot wounds to his body. Police said Demps died at the scene.

Throughout the investigation, detectives determined that Demps was involved in an altercation with Shell employee Naz.

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Police said after the altercation, Demps entered the store and destroyed property before leaving. It is not known what caused the disruption. Later, Naz allegedly shot Demps.

Despite this, customers who frequent the Shell family gas station I can’t say enough good things about Naz.

“Always in a good mood. Generous, respectful. Just a fun guy,” said Cortney Sherman, a distributor who works with the store.

Gas station employee Yaseen Naz arrested after allegedly shooting Marquis Demps.
(Austin Police Department)

“Every time I come here he makes me laugh. I make him laugh like we do. He’s my boy,” said Vetrice Smith, a regular customer.

“He would never do something like that unless, you know, something happened,” said Jojo, another regular customer.

According to court documents, Demps entered the store and caused a verbal disorder that turned physical.

“There was some kind of altercation inside the store, and that’s what started it all,” Austin Police Officer Alexandra Parker said early Sunday morning.

According to court documents, Naz told police that Demps waved a knife at the workers, so Naz grabbed a gun, telling Demps to leave. Instead, court documents say surveillance video shows Demps ransacking the store.

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Naz’s father showed FOX 7 the damaged merchandise and storefronts. He says Demps broke the glass on the counter and ripped out the computer and the credit card machine.

“Sometimes it’s the humble people you know, the bad guys expect them to do nothing,” said longtime client Michael Dunn.

But the police say Naz did something. As Demps drove off, Naz followed him into the parking lot and shot him several times through his car window. The police specifically cited these circumstances in the murder warrant.

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“He doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t deserve first degree murder,” Dunn said. “I feel like it’s kind of not self-defense, but it is self-defense.”

Naz is being held in Travis County Jail on $1 million bond, facing a first-degree murder charge from Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza’s office. He is due in court on February 22.

Austin has struggled with violent crime since the city council voted to cut funding for the police department by about a third in August 2020. That funding has since been restored, but dozens of APD officers are parties as a result of this funding cut, plus a perceived lack of support from the mayor and city council at the time. The response times to Calls from 9-11 would have skyrocketed since that 2020 funding vote.

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