California

California store owner SLAMS politicians after being forced to fend off robbers armed with guns

An 80-year-old liquor store owner in California has called out politicians after his trigger finger helped him take down armed robbers, claiming ‘I’m not going to let them off the hook first.’

Craig Cope, 80, said ‘the crime rate is escalating and it will continue to escalate until they start putting away the people who do the bad things’ after his horrific shooting was caught in dramatic surveillance footage.

While he refrained from “naming names,” he said “there are a lot of them who are causing big problems for business owners,” and complained “many” criminals are “career criminals, (and) they should be locked up up.’

The way to prevent crimes like this from happening again and again is to ‘put pressure on the politicians because they have no idea what’s really going on here in the real world.’

Cope was behind the counter of Norco Market & Liquor store in Norco, California, when he saw a gang of men armed with guns come to the door just before 3 a.m.

“There wasn’t much time to think about” what to do, Cope said, when a 23-year-old man entered the store with an AR-15 raised and ready to fire, prompting Cope to immediately fire his shotgun had to, and hit the man in the arm and sends the group scrambling.

Video shows a 23-year-old man pointing the gun at the clerk at Norco Market & Liquor on Sixth Street in Norco at 2:47 a.m. Sunday

Craig Cope, 80, said 'the crime rate is escalating and it will continue to escalate until they start putting away the people who do the bad things' after his horrific shootout was caught in dramatic surveillance footage

Craig Cope, 80, said 'the crime rate is escalating and it will continue to escalate until they start putting away the people who do the bad things' after his horrific shootout was caught in dramatic surveillance footage

Craig Cope, 80, said ‘the crime rate is escalating and it will continue to escalate until they start putting away the people who do the bad things’ after his horrific shootout was caught in dramatic surveillance footage

‘He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!’ the man can be heard yelling 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 wearing, I don’t wait.’

Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating that the entire encounter lasted around 10 seconds – from the moment the men parked their car until the moment he shot the suspect; he had under a second to think when the man aimed his assault rifle during the attempted robbery, he said.

“There are people who choose to be burglars, there are people who choose to be armed robbers,” he said.

Cope suffered a heart attack immediately after the incident, but says he doesn’t know what caused it and joked: ‘maybe I’m just old.’ HE confirmed that he is ‘doing better’ now.

The suspects were found a short time later at a local hospital, where one of the suspects, a 23-year-old man, was suffering from a gunshot wound consistent with a gunshot wound, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department let go. He remains in critical but stable condition in hospital.

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 bond.

This surveillance image provided by the Riverside Sheriff's Department shows a suspect exiting the stolen vehicle they were using with a large gun

This surveillance image provided by the Riverside Sheriff's Department shows a suspect exiting the stolen vehicle they were using with a large gun

This surveillance image provided by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department shows a suspect exiting the stolen vehicle they were using with a large gun

Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating the entire encounter lasted about 10 seconds

Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating the entire encounter lasted about 10 seconds

Cope said the ordeal happened very quickly, estimating the entire encounter lasted about 10 seconds

Cope said 'when you point that gun at me and you're that close to me and I see what you're wearing, I didn't wait', as he described his quick thinking when confronted with an assault rifle

Cope said 'when you point that gun at me and you're that close to me and I see what you're wearing, I didn't wait', as he described his quick thinking when confronted with an assault rifle

Cope said ‘when you point that gun at me and you’re that close to me and I see what you’re wearing, I didn’t wait’, as he described his quick thinking when confronted 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 a normal person would park … on the side of the building where they are basically out of sight. He said the gloves and masks they wore also put him on high alert.

Deputies responded to reports of an attempted armed robbery at 2:47 a.m. at the store in the 800 block of Sixth Street in Norco, near San Bernardino.

Immediately after the incident, when the criminals tried to flee the scene, the driver of the flight hit the gas pedal, almost leaving one of his accomplices behind,

Back at the store, Cope suffered a heart attack from the shock of the incident and had to go to the hospital. As he was at home recovering, some of Cope’s co-workers posted on social media that he is eager to get back to work.

Business owner Craig suffered a heart attack, and had to go to the hospital after the shock of the attack

Business owner Craig suffered a heart attack, and had to go to the hospital after the shock of the attack

Business owner Craig suffered a heart attack, and had to go to the hospital after the shock of the attack

By hitting the gas pedal, the driver almost leaves one of the accomplices behind. The suspects are now in custody after police found them at the hospital, identified them from the gunshot wound

By hitting the gas pedal, the driver almost leaves one of the accomplices behind. The suspects are now in custody after police found them at the hospital, identified them from the gunshot wound

By hitting the gas pedal, the driver almost leaves one of the accomplices behind. The suspects are now in custody after police found them at the hospital, identified them from the gunshot wound

Back at the store, Cope suffered a heart attack from the shock of the incident and had to go to the hospital

Back at the store, Cope suffered a heart attack from the shock of the incident and had to go to the hospital

Back at the store, Cope suffered a heart attack from the shock of the incident and had to go to the hospital

Tamara Gibbons, who has worked at the store since October, told DailyMail.com that Cope is loved by the community and is a great boss who gives anyone and everyone a chance.

“He’s just very nice and never turns anyone away,” Gibbons said, adding that Cope is known to help transients in the area. ‘He treated everyone equally.’

Gibbons said her boss was the only one working Sunday night when the would-be robbers crept in. But that he saw them coming – armed with weapons – and he was ready to defend his business of 55 years.

‘He was on his toes, thank God,’ another shop assistant told Marnie Tapia ABC7. ‘He just got ready. He is always prepared as far as weapons are concerned.’

Tapia credits the store’s newly installed, high-definition security cameras with saving her life from Cope. She said her boss set up the security system because of a recent uptick in convenience store robberies.

‘The sheriff came in and warned me about eight months ago or so that this was going on and to watch and pay attention, be on your toes,’ she said.

She added that having Cope as her boss makes employees feel more secure.

Cope said his shooting skills came from growing up in Illinois, where he owned a single-shot rifle and hunted small game. ‘Ammunition was expensive’ he said, so ‘you don’t want to miss out’.

As of Tuesday night, the three suspects in custody remained behind bars on $500,000 bail, despite being in the state of California, where Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon has come under fire for his progressive policies that has given some criminals a get-out-of-jail-free card.

The progressive prosecutor – who was elected in 2020 – has been vocal about the need to reform the criminal justice system to focus more on intervention and rehabilitation, blasting ‘tough-on-crime’ policies as racist and a failure.

Jose Alba (right) poses for a celebratory photo with Francisco Marte, president of the Bodega and Small Business Association of New York last month after DA Alvin Bragg dropped the murder charges against him

Jose Alba (right) poses for a celebratory photo with Francisco Marte, president of the Bodega and Small Business Association of New York last month after DA Alvin Bragg dropped the murder charges against him

Jose Alba (right) poses for a celebratory photo with Francisco Marte, president of the Bodega and Small Business Association of New York last month after DA Alvin Bragg dropped the murder charges against him

Cope will not face any charges in Riverside County, unlike the New York City bodega worker who was charged with murder for fatally stabbing an attacker in self-defense.

“In this case, a legally armed member of our community prevented a violent crime and ensured their own safety while being confronted by multiple armed suspects,” the sheriff’s department said in a release referring to Cope’s case .

However, in New York last month, store employee Jose Alba was arrested and initially charged after he fatally stabbed a man who physically attacked him over a bag of chips. The store employee said he acted in self-defense.

Alba, 61, who had faced a second-degree murder charge, was working at the Blue Moon deli on July 1 when he fatally stabbed Austin Simon in the neck and chest.

Surveillance footage clearly showed Simon, 37, moved behind the counter at the Hamilton Heights convenience store and pushed the clerk into a stack of shelves before grabbing him.

It was only then that Alba reached a shelf and pulled out a knife to fight back.

Public outrage over DA Alvin Bragg’s allegations against Alba grew to such a level that he caved and dropped them.

Bodega worker Jose Alba (right) was physically attacked by a customer before he pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed the man. Charges against Alba have been dropped

Bodega worker Jose Alba (right) was physically attacked by a customer before he pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed the man. Charges against Alba have been dropped

Bodega worker Jose Alba (right) was physically attacked by a customer before he pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed the man. Charges against Alba have been dropped

California store owner SLAMS politicians after being forced to fend off robbers armed with guns Source link California store owner SLAMS politicians after being forced to fend off robbers armed with guns

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