RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. — An armed robber turned and ran from a liquor store when the store owner opened fire with a shotgun from behind the counter.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release that four armed suspects arrived at the store in a dark-colored car, before approaching the entrance with hoods and masks.
Surveillance video from inside and outside the store was shared on Facebook, which shows the store’s owner behind the counter with a shotgun. In the video, the store owner fires a single shot from his shotgun, causing the would-be robbers to turn and run.
Watch the surveillance video below, courtesy of KTTV:
“They came in telling him, ‘Freeze,’ and something about ‘This is a robbery,’” Marnie, a store employee, told KNBC. “To himself, I’m sure he thought, ‘No, it ain’t,’ because he just opened fire.”
Marnie told KCBS that the store owner is 80-year-old Craig Cope, who has owned the store since 1967.
A second video from outside the store shows a man running to a dark sedan, holding a gun, and screaming, “He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!”
In a news release, deputies said that they identified three suspects at a nearby hospital, one of whom had a gunshot wound consistent with a shotgun. Justin Johnson, Jamar Williams, and Davon Broadus were arrested in the hospital parking lot on charges of robbery and conspiracy. The primary suspect, whom deputies said remains in the hospital, was not identified.
Investigators told KCBS that the vehicle the suspects were driving had been reported stolen, and that a number of stolen guns were found inside the car.
In the news release, deputies said that no charges would be filed against the store owner: “In this case, a lawfully armed member of our community prevented a violent crime and ensured their own safety, while being confronted with multiple armed suspects.”
Cope suffered a heart attack after the incident and is in the hospital recovering, KTTV reported.
“I’m proud to call him my boss,” Marnie told KNBC. “He’s very protective of us all.”
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