Wednesday 3 August 2022 04:06 PM California store owner SLAMS politicians after being forced to fend off robbers ... trends now
An 80-year-old liquor store owner in California has called out politicians after his trigger finger helped him fend off armed robbers, claiming 'I'm not going to let them get the shot off first.'
Craig Cope, 80, said 'the crime rate is escalating and it's going to continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things' after his harrowing shootout was caught in dramatic surveillance footage.
While he refrained from 'naming names,' he said 'there are a whole lot of them that are creating major problems for business owners,' and complained 'a lot' of criminals are 'career criminals, (and) they need to be locked up.'
The way to prevent crimes like this from repeatedly occurring is to 'put pressure on the politicians because they got no clue what's really going on out here in the real world.'
Cope was behind the counter of Norco Market & Liquor shop in Norco, Calif., when he noticed a gang of men armed with guns creeping up to the door just before 3 a.m.
'There wasn't much time to think about' what to do, Cope said, as a 23-year-old man entered the store with an AR-15 raised and ready to shoot, forcing Cope to immediately fire off his shotgun, hitting the man in the arm and sending the group scrambling.
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Video shows a 23-year-old male aiming the rifle at the store clerk in Norco Market & Liquor on Sixth Street in Norco at 2:47 a.m. on Sunday
Craig Cope, 80, said 'the crime rate is escalating and it's going to continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things' after his harrowing shootout was caught in dramatic surveillance footage
'He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!' the man can be heard shouting as he frantically runs back to a black BMW SUV that deputies later said was reported stolen.
The store owner described being forced into action in an interview with Fox, saying: 'When you point that gun at me and you're that close to me and I see what you're carrying, I'm not waiting.'
Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating that entire encounter lasted around 10 seconds -- from the moment the men parked their car to the moment he shot the suspect; he had under a second to think when the man pointed his assault rifle during the attempted robbery, he said.
'There's people that choose to be burglars, there's people that choose to be armed robbers,' he said.
Cope suffered a heart attack right after the incident but says he doesn't know what caused it and joked, 'maybe I'm just old.' HE confirmed he's now 'doing better.'
The 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 and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for robbery and conspiracy. They are being held on $500,000 bail.
This surveillance image provided by the Riverside Sheriff's Department shows a suspect exiting the stolen vehicle they used with a large gun
Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating that entire encounter lasted around 10 seconds
Cope said 'when you point that gun at me and you're that close to me and I see what you're carrying, I'm not waiting,' as he described his quick thinking when faced with an assault rifle
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.
Cope said the group gave themselves away with certain red flags he identified as suspicious, including not parking 'where