NORCO, CA – An elderly liquor store owner in late July quickly handled a would-be armed robber, as surveillance footage from the liquor store in question shows the owner blasting the suspect with a shotgun – leaving the suspect running away and screaming, “He shot my arm off!”
The incident reportedly occurred just before 3:00 a.m. on July 31st at the Norco Market & Liquor located along the 2800 block of Clark Avenue, where authorities say four suspects in a black BMW SUV attempted to rob the establishment.
Footage from the incident shows a male suspect adorned in a red and black sweatshirt and a ski mask entering the establishment while armed with a rifle, reportedly telling the 80-year-old store owner to place his hands in the air.
However, the elderly store owner opted to reach for the shotgun concealed under the store counter, not wasting a single second before quickly blasting the suspect’s arm. In surveillance footage from outside of the establishment, the other suspects involved can be seen waiting outside when the injured suspect comes running out, screaming, “He shot my arm off.”
Nearly leaving their injured accomplice behind in the process, the suspects quickly fled from the liquor store following the incident. Authorities later located the suspects at an area hospital in southern California after a male was admitted for an apparent gunshot wound consistent with a shotgun blast.
The three other accomplices reportedly involved were found inside of the vehicle used in the armed robbery, which authorities say had been previously reported stolen. Inside of the stolen vehicle, police also reportedly recovered numerous firearms that had also been previously reported stolen.
Authorities identified the three male suspects taken into custody at the hospital parking lot as 22-year-old Justin Johnson, 27-year-old Jamar Williams, and 24-year-old Davon Broadus, which all three were booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center under suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.
As for the fourth suspect who sustained the gunshot wound during the botched armed robbery, authorities say the yet-to-be-named 23-year-old suspect is still hospitalized in critical, but stable condition. Officials noted that upon the injured suspect’s release from the hospital, he will be transported to an area jail for booking.
Riverside County deputies issued a statement regarding the incident, noting, “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.”
As for the elderly liquor store owner, identified only as “Craig” by locals and employees, he reportedly suffered a heart attack following the attempted armed robbery and is currently recovering.
Marnie Tapia, an employee at the establishment, is thankful that his employer was “on his toes” during the early-morning incident, adding that Craig is “always prepared” for situations like this.
“The sheriff’s warned us that this had been going on in the area recently and to just be on your toes, you know, so he was on his toes. Thank God…He just prepared himself. He’s always prepared as far as weapons go.”