Dramatic moment California liquor store owner blasts rifle-toting robber with a shotgun


A man armed with an AR-15 fled from a California liquor store screaming ‘He shot my arm off!’ after the 80-year-old owner blasted him with his shotgun.

Craig Cope opened fire after the 23-year-old armed intruder entered his shop in Norco early Sunday morning. As they suspects frantically ran away, Cope suffered a minor heart attack from the shock of the incident. 

Four suspects armed with guns and wearing facial coverings had planned to rob the store, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. 

But employees say Cope, who has owned the store since 1967, spied the suspects heading his way so grabbed his shotgun and fired at the first robber as he burst in. Security camera footage captured the dramatic encounter. 

The man screamed out after being hit in the shoulder and frantically ran from the store.

‘He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!’ the man can be heard shouting as he runs back to a black BMW SUV.

The four suspects were located a short time later at a local hospital where one of the suspects, a 23-year-old male, was suffering from a gunshot wound consistent with a shotgun blast, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department release. He remains hospitalized in critical, but stable condition.

The three other suspects were taken into police custody booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for robbery and conspiracy. They are being held on a $500,000 bail.

Video shows a 23-year-old male holding the rifle and creeping into Norco Market & Liquor in the 800 block of Sixth Street at 2:47am on Sunday

The man screams out as he's hit in the shoulder, fleeing the store and shouting: 'He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!'

The man screams out as he’s hit in the shoulder, fleeing the store and shouting: ‘He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!’

Craig Cope, 80, opened fire with a shotgun after a would-be armed robber burst in with an AR-15, hitting him in the arm and causing him to flee

Craig Cope, 80, opened fire with a shotgun after a would-be armed robber burst in with an AR-15, hitting him in the arm and causing him to flee

Deputies identified the suspects as 22-year-old Inglewood resident Justin Johnson, 27-year-old Los Angeles resident Jamar Williams and 24-year-old Las Vegas resident Davon Broadus. 

The 23-year-old man who was shot is in critical but stable condition. He remains unnamed.

Deputies responded to reports of an attempted armed robbery around 2:47 a.m. at the store in the 800 block of Sixth Street in Norco near San Bernardino.

Surveillance video revealed the suspects approached the business armed with long guns wearing facial coverings and hoods. As soon as they walked inside, guns pointed, the store’s owner Craig Cope, fired a single shot from a shotgun, and the suspects fled the store,.

They jumped in a dark-colored BMW SUV, that had earlier been reported stolen. It was also found to contain numerous stolen firearms, deputies said. 

Hitting the accelerator, the driver almost left one of the accomplices behind – having to stop so the last hooded assailant could jump into the vehicle.

Back inside the store, Cope suffered a heart attack from the shock of the incident and had to be rushed to hospital. 

‘He was on his toes, thank god,’ said store employee Marnie Tapia, speaking with ABC7. ‘He just prepared himself. He’s always prepared as far as weapons go.’

Store employee Tamara Gibbons told DailyMail.com that Cope is someone everyone admires and a great boss who gives everyone a chance.

‘He’s just very kind and never turns anyone away,’ Gibbons said, adding that Cope has been known to help transients in the area. ‘He treated everyone equally.’

Gibbons, who has been an employed at the store since October, said her boss was the only one working that day but that he saw the would-be robbers coming and he was ready to defend the place he had owned since 1967. 

Business owner Craig suffered a heart attack, having to be rushed to hospital after the shock of the attack

Business owner Craig suffered a heart attack, having to be rushed to hospital after the shock of the attack

Hitting the accelerator, the driver almost leaves one of the accomplices behind - having to stop so the last hooded assailant can jump into the vehicle before they escape. The suspects are now in custody after police found them in hospital, identifying them from the gunshot wound

Hitting the accelerator, the driver almost leaves one of the accomplices behind – having to stop so the last hooded assailant can jump into the vehicle before they escape. The suspects are now in custody after police found them in hospital, identifying them from the gunshot wound

‘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 suspect,’ the sheriff’s department said.

Cope will not face any charges unlike one New York City bodega worker who was charged with murder for fatally stabbing an attacker in self defense. 

Public outage against DA Alvin Bragg’s charges against Jose Alba grew to such a level that he gave into pressure and dropped them. 

Jose Alba (right) posed for a celebratory photo with Francisco Marte, President of the Bodega and Small Business Association of New York last month after DA Alvin Bragg dropped the murder charges against him

Jose Alba (right) posed for a celebratory photo with Francisco Marte, President of the Bodega and Small Business Association of New York last month after DA Alvin Bragg dropped the murder charges against him

Bodega worker Jose Alba (right) was physically attacked by a customer before pulling out a knife and fatally stabbing the man. Charges against Alba have been dropped

Bodega worker Jose Alba (right) was physically attacked by a customer before pulling out a knife and fatally stabbing the man. Charges against Alba have been dropped

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk