NORCO (Calif.) — A quick acting convenience store owner in Southern California shot a man armed with a rifle. Craig Cope pulled out a shotgun from behind the counter, and opened fire on the would-be robber. Surveillance cameras recorded the faceoff at the convenience store in Norco, California around 2:45 AM Sunday.
According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, four suspects with their faces covered pulled up to the store in a BMW SUV. They then walked into the store with their rifles pointed.
According to video aired on KCBS-TV, the owner pulled out a shotgun and fired one round from behind the counter. According to the station, an employee identified the owner of the shotgun as an 80-year old man.
One suspect shouted, “He shot me off my arm, he shot mine off!” as they fled. The employee was praised by the sheriff’s office.
According to a statement, “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”
The injured suspect was found by authorities in a hospital suffering from injuries consistent with a shotgun blast. The BMW that had previously been reported as stolen was also found at the hospital with the other suspects inside. Law enforcement officers found the SUV contained stolen guns.
Three suspects were taken into custody and charged with conspiracy and robbery. They are currently being held on $500,000 bail.
The injured suspect was in critical but stable condition. After being released from the hospital, he will be booked into jail.