Over the weekend, an 80-year-old store owner in Norco, California named Craig Cope stopped an armed robbery attempted with a shotgun, protecting himself and his store.
“I would always protect my employees, my customers, myself. This instance, fortunately, I was here by myself, so I only had to worry about that. I took care of it and that was that,” the Cope said.
The owner saw the men coming towards the store on surveillance cameras and then moved around the counter and grabbed his shotgun. The 80 year old fired as the robbers entered, hitting one, causing the others to flee. The wounded gunman ran to his getaway car, yelling over and over, “He shot my arm off.”
#WATCH: "He shot my arm off," cries would-be robber after 80 year old #Norco store owner shoots him with a shotgun. Four arrested, one remains in hospital. Store owner expected back at work. pic.twitter.com/i3LAVdv5WL
— Jeff Vaughn (@JeffVaughn) August 2, 2022
Reports say all four suspects showed up at a local hospital, where three were arrested, and one is still being treated. Cope suffered a heart attack as the result of the traumatic series of events but will make a full recovery.
“He saw on the surveillance — he saw them coming out of the vehicle with weapons,” said Marnie Tapia, one of his employees. Cope installed the cameras because of a recent uptick in convenience store robberies. “The sheriff came in and warned me about eight months ago or so that this was going on and to keep an eye out and pay attention, be on your toes,” Tapia said.
According to Cope’s wife, the shooting sends a message to criminals. “Stay out of Norco, because everybody in Norco has a gun,” she said.
CBSLA asked Cope if he had a message for fellow business people in his area and Southern California about the recent uptick in crimes at convenience stores and liquor stores. He had this to say:
“Well, I think more people should vote and vote the right way, and I think the politicians…this isn’t going to get me on the right side of a lot of people. But there’s a whole lotta people out there, they got no clue what it’s like to try to run a small business. And when they’re letting people out…and we’ve got bad people, let’s face it.
There’s bad people, bad people we don’t need. We need to get them locked up because this is a scary situation when that happens. Everybody works hard. They got bills to pay. These guys are going to come in and take it away from you. Not here.”
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