18-year-old store clerk Kyle Farishian murdered by Michael Russo: See No Evil investigates

Mugshot of Michael Russo
Michael Russo was given a life sentence for the indiscriminate murder of Kyle Farishian. Pic credit: Florida Dept. of Corrections

This week on See No Evil, the team examines a seemingly senseless murder from Punta Gorda, Florida.

Kyle Farishian was an 18-year-old store clerk working in a 7-Eleven convenience store when one day Michael Russo entered the shop hell-bent on violence and murder.

On November 1st, 2015, Russo entered the 7-Eleven carrying a gasoline can in one hand and a firearm in the other. He had taken care to disguise himself by covering his head, and he was wearing gloves.

When Farishian came into contact with Russo, the killer shot him. As Farishian lay on the ground, Russo shot him a second time. The murderer then proceeded to pour gasoline around the store, including on top of the victim. It then took him three attempts to set the premises ablaze. Russo was only in the store for 90 seconds.

Murder of Kyle Farishian was caught on camera

Surveillance cameras captured the whole incident, and despite Russo’s attempts to disguise himself, this proved instrumental in bringing him to justice. The camera was able to identify him through his distinctive walking gait, mannerisms, and other physical characteristics.

The day after the murder, a neighbor of Russo contacted investigators to say he’d recognized the killer from his limp after seeing the surveillance footage. They had also recognized his distinctive camouflage pants.

Russo had a long list of criminal complaints against him dating back to 2004, which included a threat to murder a family friend and the circumstances surrounding his father’s suicide. He was also guilty of previously harassing staff members at the 7-Eleven.

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On previous occasions, he had become particularly belligerent with one of the store clerks (not the victim), and he had contacted the store manager on her cellphone.

In July 2017, Russo was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Kyle Farishian and was sentenced to life in prison. He was also found guilty of first-degree arson and was given a further 25 to 30 years. He was ordered to serve the sentences consecutively.

More from See No Evil

Follow the links to read about more callous murders profiled on See No Evil.

Last week on See No Evil, Yale student Annie Le was brutally raped and murdered in a university faculty building by lab technician Raymond Clark. His attack was so violent he broke her jaw and collarbone before stuffing her remains behind a laboratory wall.

Previously the team looked at the heartbreaking case of 8-year-old Hiawayi Robinson, who was raped, sodomized, and murdered by her father, who then left her half-naked body on a trash pile in an alley in Prichard, Alabama. Hiawatha Robinson then tried to play the role of a grieving father before police saw through his evil scheming.

See No Evil airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

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