Senior shoots suspected robber armed with AR-15, has heart attack

  • Four men, armed with an AR-15 rifle, approached a liquor store in Norco, California, on July 31.
  • The 80-year-old store owner responded by pulling out his rifle and shooting one in the arm.
  • The suspects fled, but Craig Cope then suffered a heart attack.

An 80-year-old man calmly shot an armed intruder who was trying to rob his store in California, surveillance footage shows, but suffered a heart attack shortly after, according to reports.

Craig Cope was at his liquor store in Norco, Riverside County, on July 31, when a man armed with an AR-15 approached his store at about 2:47 a.m. a press release by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The prime suspect, a 23-year-old man in a balaclava, walked into the store with his gun pointed at Cope, the press release said. According to the press release, three other suspects were waiting outside.

Cope, seeing the gunman as soon as he entered the store, used his shotgun to shoot him from behind the counter, footage shows.

Craig Cope uses shotgun to shoot gunman in his shop

Craig Cope, circled, used a shotgun to shoot at an armed gunman at his store in Norco, California.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

“He shot my arm off, he shot my arm off,” you can hear the 23-year-old suspect yell as he flees the property, according to the surveillance footage.

The four suspects fled the scene in a stolen black BMW SUV, according to the sheriff’s department. Officers later found firearms and additional evidence related to the attempted robbery in the vehicle.

Suspects flee the crime scene at Norco Market & Liquor in Norco, California.

A suspect flees the crime scene after being shot by Craig Cope at a liquor store in Norco, California.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Meanwhile, Cope, who has owned the store for 55 years, suffered a heart attack. Mail Online reports that. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, media said.

In an interview with Fox 11 News on Wednesday, Cope said he did “a lot better” than that night. He joked that he didn’t know what caused the heart attack. “Maybe I’m just old,” he told Fox 11 News.

Cope said his message to the suspects is that “this is not a good place to pick.”

The suspects were located at a hospital. The prime suspect, who is in critical but stable condition in hospital, has been taken into police custody, the sheriff said.

Three other suspects were taken into custody in the hospital parking lot and given $500,000 bail for theft and conspiracy.

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