Store Owner, 80, Shoots Armed Robber

4 suspects were arrested at a hospital
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2022 6:27 PM CDT

An 80-year-old liquor store owner in southern California is recovering from a heart attack he suffered soon after shooting a would-be robber. Security cameras captured footage of the confrontation around 2:45am Sunday at Norco Market & Liquor in Riverside County, CBS reports. After a man armed with what appeared to be an assault rifle entered the store, owner Craig Cope pulled out a shotgun and shot the man in the arm from behind a display case. The man—shouting "He shot my arm off!"—fled the store and sped off with three other suspects in a waiting vehicle.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Office says four suspects with long guns and face coverings were involved in the robbery attempt, ABC7 reports. All four were arrested at a hospital, including the injured man. Police say he remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition and will be booked into a county jail when he is released from the hospital. The other three suspects are being held on $500,000 bond. Police say several stolen firearms were found inside the BMW the suspects used, which was also stolen.

Employees say Cope, who has owned the store since 1967 and plans to return to work when he has recovered, was prepared because he had been watching security monitors and had seen the armed suspects step out of the vehicle. Employees say business has been "off the hook" since the robbery attempt, with people even visiting from different cities to show their support, the Los Angeles Times reports. "It shows older people that they can stick up for themselves," says employee Tamara Gibbons. "Just because of your age doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of doing something like this." (More armed robbery stories.)

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