Cheektowaga Man Sentenced for Murdering Store Employee and Attempting to Kill Responding Police Officer

Modified: October 6, 2021 10:31am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 29-year-old Travis J. Zukic of Cheektowaga was sentenced this morning by Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to an indeterminate sentence of 25 years to life in prison.  

On Sunday, March 1, 2020, at approximately 11:00 a.m., the defendant intentionally shot a female employee while she was working at a 7-Eleven store on French Road in the Town of Cheektowaga with a shotgun. Two other female employees were also inside the store at the time of the shooting. The victim, 23-year-old Hannah E. Morse, was taken by ambulance to ECMC where she was pronounced deceased.

A few minutes after the initial shooting, the defendant intentionally fired a single round from his shotgun at a Cheektowaga police officer as the officer entered the store to investigate the incident. The officer was unharmed and the defendant was taken into custody.

Investigators believe that the shooting at the convenience store was a random attack as the victim and the defendant were not known to each other.

Zukic pleaded guilty, as charged, to one count of Murder in the Second Degree and one count of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (Class “A-I” felonies). The defendant pleaded guilty to all charges in the indictment against him on August 25, 2021.

“This one of the most senseless and gruesome crimes that has been prosecuted by this office since I became District Attorney. This defendant randomly targeted these women while they were at work and forced them at gunpoint into a back room where he decided to murder Hannah Morse as her two co-workers watched in horror. Hannah was pursuing her dreams and working at this convenience store to pay for her college tuition when this defendant decided to end her young life. The two surviving victims will be forever traumatized by what they witnessed on that tragic day. I hope that the family of Hannah Morse feels that justice has been served by this defendant being sentenced to potentially a lifetime of imprisonment,” said Erie County DA Flynn

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department for their work in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Patrick B. Shanahan of the Felony Trials Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Gina M. Gramaglia of the Special Victims/Domestic Violence Bureau.