Video: 80-Year-Old Norco, CA Convenience Store Owner Shoots Armed Robber
As videos of the incident show, an armed robber entered Craig Cope’s store Norco Market & Liquor at around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday. The suspect came into the store with a face-covering ski mask and a sweatshirt, pointing a rifle at the victim.
Meanwhile, Cope awaited the robber in a corner behind the counter, and perfectly timed his shot. The 80-year-old shot the man in the arm, causing him to yell out, “He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!”
The suspect then ran into a BMW SUV with other people inside, quickly driving off.
Now, more information is coming to light about the incident: employee Marnie Tapia told ABC7 that Cope was prepared for the worst. “The sheriff’s warned us that this had been going on in the area recently and to just be on your toes, you know, so he was on his toes. Thank God.”
Tapia added that Cope “just prepared himself. He’s always prepared as far as weapons go,” and that he had seen the suspect exit the car beforehand through a camera.
That being said, the incident greatly affected the Norco resident, who suffered a heart attack afterward. He is now back home and recovering.
As per Fox LA, three suspects are currently in jail, while the robber who was shot will be taken into custody once discharged from the hospital.
Suspects DaShawn Lee Belvin, 23, Davon Anthony Broadus, 24, Justin Kyle Johnson, 22 and Jamar Elijah Williams, 26, are all being charged with felonies, including attempted robbery and elder abuse. The four suspects have no prior felonies.
While Belvin is charged with firearm assault, all four are also being charged with possession of a stolen firearm, since they had “numerous stolen firearms” in the car, according to Riverside County Capt. Mike Koehler. The BMW they rode in was also reported stolen.
About Cope’s decision to shoot, Capt. Koehler explained that the department is viewing it as, “A lawfully armed member of our community prevented a violent crime and ensured their own safety while being confronted with multiple armed suspects.”
As for Cope? He told Fox 11 that Norco “isn’t a good place to pick” when it comes to armed robbery.
Several people agree: one Norco resident told Univision, “Here we live like in the Wild West… on horses, with guns, protecting the streets.” Another resident explained to the outlet that, “The majority of Narco store owners are ‘protected’ in the same way,” referring to them being armed.
Cope described to Univision, “I just did what I had to do. I would always protect my employees, my customers, myself.” He continued, “Pointing the gun directly at me… I’m not gonna wait.”