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Video: 80-year-old store owner uses shotgun to stop armed robbers

An armed suspect attempts to rob a California convenience store (Screenshot)
August 03, 2022

An 80-year-old man fired his shotgun at one of four armed robbers to protect his store in Norco, Calif., on Sunday. Security video of the incident revealed that the armed robbery suspect screamed, “He shot my arm off” as he fled the scene, joining three other suspects outside.   

According to a store employee, Craig Cope — owner of the Norco convenience store — first saw the armed robber suspects on his surveillance camera, WRAL reported.  

“He saw on the surveillance — he saw them coming out of the vehicle with weapons,” said staff member Marnie Tapia.

The elderly store owner suffered a heart attack as a result of the traumatic evening, but will make a full recovery, Tapia said. 

In the video, the armed robber suspect enters the store and points a rifle at Cope. Cope quickly pulls out a shotgun and blasts the robber in the arm, causing him to scream, “He shot my arm off!” as he runs out the door. 

Outside, the second of four armed robber suspects carrying a similar rifle starts to exit a BMW, but quickly reverses course after the shotgun blast. His fellow robber jumps into the vehicle and the group speeds away. 

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said four suspects appeared at a nearby hospital, where three were arrested. The fourth suspect was admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for the shotgun wound. 

Tapia credits the recently-installed, high definition security cameras with saving Cope’s life, which the store owner installed due to a recent surge in robberies.  

“It saved his life,” Tapia said. “I think it did.”

“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 added. 

Authorities said the suspected armed robbers were driving a stolen vehicle. The firearms were also stolen, they said. 

The group was charged with robbery and conspiracy. They are being held on $500,000 bonds. 

“I’m proud to call him my boss,” Tapia said. “He makes us feel better about being here, you know.”

Also on Sunday, an Ohio homeowner shot and killed his daughter’s ex-boyfriend after the ex smashed through the front door of his home.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said 22-year-old James Douglas Rayl tried breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home on the 2900 block of North Kuther Road around 11 a.m. in Sydney, Ohio, WDTN reported. 

Rayl started banging on the door, at which point the woman’s father — armed with a gun — ordered Rayl to leave. The suspect refused to leave and when he eventually entered the home, the homeowner fired three rounds, stopping the home invader in his tracks.