Four male suspects wearing face coverings and hoods entered the Norco Market & Liquor shop in a black BMV X3 SUV around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday, July 31, in Norco, California. One of the suspects stormed into the store with a rifle.
According to CBS Los Angeles, store owner Craig Cope, 80, saw the suspects exit the vehicle on CCTV cameras. Marnie Tapia, a Cope's employee, claimed he "saw them approaching," prompting him to equip himself with the shotgun he stocks behind the counter.
Cope can be heard issuing a quick warning in the CCTV footage. With the suspect still aiming his firearm at Cope, the store owner fired, striking the would-be robber in the arm.
The wounded suspect then ran back to the vehicle, yelling, "He's shot my arm, he's shot my arm!"
Cope suffered a heart attack after frightening off the would-be robbers, but he is said to be recuperating.
While the badly wounded suspect, who has yet to be identified, is still hospitalized and in a medical emergency. The other three suspects were apprehended by police in the hospital parking lot and put into the Robert Presley Detention Center on account of robbery and conspiracy.
Justin Johnson of Inglewood, 22, Jamar Williams of Los Angeles, 27, and Davon Broadus of Las Vegas, 24, are being detained in the surety of $500,000 bail, as reported by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Police said the suspects' car was reported stolen and contained multiple stolen guns.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Cope is a "lawfully armed member of our community" who "prevented a violent crime and guaranteed their safety while faced with many armed suspects."
According to Marnie Tapia of ABC7, Cope and his crew were alerted before the incident by the sheriff's department about similar incidents in the area: "Stay alert... [Cope] was alert, thank God."
According to Neighbourhood Scout, a resident in Norco has a 1 in 675 risk of being a violent crime victim. In the broader Los Angeles area, the chances of becoming a target of a property crime are 1 in every 44.