GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The state will not seek the death penalty against the man accused of shooting and killing a Speedway Gas Station employee.

FOX8 is told Avion Bell, of Greensboro, still faces a first-degree murder charge following the death of 72-year-old Patricia grant in July 2021.

Grant was a mother, grandmother, sister and friend to customers who stopped at the popular gas station.

According to Greensboro police, Bell shot and killed Grant on July 1, 2021. Investigators said Bell walked into the gas station and demanded money. When Grant said ‘no,’ he shot her.

He was arrested six days later. Police said he was on probation at the time of the killing and used a stolen gun to commit the crime.

What he did was senseless and stupid and took the life of somebody who was great,” said Rhonda Pedraza, one of Grant’s close friends. “Pat’s loved ones need to know that he’s never getting out, he’s never going to harm anybody else.”

Surveillance cameras around the gas station have been upgraded since the tragedy and a fence now lines the back of the building where Bell made a quick escape.

“We love Pat, and we always will,” Pedraza said.