Craig Cope, the 80-year-old owner of a Norco liquor store, fired his shotgun at a would-be robber. He is now speaking out, recalling the incident, saying, “I did a lot of hunting when I was a little kid.” The store, which is located east of Los Angeles, has cameras.
Watch the video of the 80-year-old fending off armed robbery suspect to see exactly what happened when the 80-year-old California store owner was filmed opening fire on a would-be robber with a shotgun, prompting the suspect to flee his business while shouting “he shot my arm off! He shot my arm off” The act of self-defense occurred at the Norco Market & Liquor in Norco, just east of Los Angeles, after the store owner was confronted by a gunman brandishing a rifle.
Cope stated, “I would always protect my employees, my customers, myself. This instance, fortunately, I was here by myself, so I only had to worry about that. I took care of it and that was that.” “I did a lot of hunting when I was a little kid,” he explained. “I’d put food on the table. So, I still remember things from a long time ago.”
Cope went on to say that “more people should vote and vote the right way, and I think the politicians… this isn’t going to get me on the right side of a lot of people, but there’s a whole lotta people out there, they got no clue what it’s like to try to run a small business.
“And when they’re letting people out… and we’ve got bad people, let’s face it. There’s bad people, bad people we don’t need. We need to get them locked up because this is a scary situation when that happens,” he also said. “Everybody works hard. They got bills to pay. These guys are going to come in and take it away from you. Not here.”
Cope explained that “there wasn’t much time to think about” during the incident. “When you point a gun directly at me and you are that close to me and I see what you are carrying I’m not waiting,” he said.
The owner of the store added that the first warning he had that something was about to happen was when he observed the suspects “through the front door drive into this parking lot, but they didn’t park where a normal person would park, so that was a red flag.” “When I looked and saw them getting out of the vehicle, they got gloves, masks, a weapon, that just solidified the deal for me, I knew what was coming,” he added.
The unidentified 23-year-old robber seen on surveillance video wielding a rifle was subsequently found at a nearby hospital “suffering from a gunshot wound consistent with a shotgun blast,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said. The robber is stable but still in critical condition. Once he’s released, he’ll be arrested.
Three other men who were in a getaway car while the robbery was unfolding are currently in jail. The crew is under investigation for robbery and conspiracy, according to police. Media reports state that Cope, who had a heart attack after the incident, has now returned to work.