Gunman Pleads Guilty for Murdering Convenience Store Employee and Attempting to Kill Responding Police Officer

Modified: August 25, 2021 1:56pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 29-year-old Travis J. Zukic of Cheektowaga pleaded guilty this morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to one count of Murder in the Second Degree and one count of Attempted Murder in the First Degree (Class “A-1” felonies). The defendant pleaded guilty to all charges in the indictment against him.

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 faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. He continues to remain held without bail.  

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

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