‘He Shot My Arm Off!’: 80-Year-Old Store Owner Unloads When Armed Suspects Attempt Robbery
People shoot their guns at the Southwest Regional Park shooting range near the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Pima County Fairgrounds on January 15, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

An 80-year-old store owner in Norco, California, thwarted an armed robbery over the weekend, protecting himself and his store.

When convenience store owner Craig Cope noticed on surveillance cameras that armed men were going to enter his store, he moved strategically around the counter and grabbed his shotgun.

Cope, video footage shows, quickly fired at the first armed suspect who entered the store, sending him and the other men fleeing.

“He shot my arm off!” one of the armed suspects is heard yelling on obtained surveillance footage (see below).

With one suspect driving, the footage shows at least three others rush into a black BMW, which was reportedly stolen, before quickly speeding off out of the parking lot.

Reports say all four suspects showed up at a local hospital, where three were arrested, and one is still being treated.

“He saw on the surveillance — he saw them coming out of the vehicle with weapons,” said Marnie Tapia, one of Cope’s employees.

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

“It saved his life,” Tapia said of her boss’ quick action. “I think it did.”

Tapia said Cope sustained a heart attack over the traumatic experience, adding that the store owner would recover fully.

The business recently had cameras installed over the surge in crime in the area. California has notably been plagued with rising crime and homelessness.

“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 recalled.

The suspects are being held on $500,000 bail, charged with robbery and conspiracy.


Related: Good Guy With A Gun: Mass Shooter Shot In Indiana Mall By Armed Civilian

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