October 4, 2022

  • 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 shotgun and shooting him once in the arm.
  • The suspects fled the scene, but Craig Cope suffered a heart attack afterward.

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

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

The primary suspect, a 23-year-old man wearing a balaclava, entered the store with his gun pointed at Cope, the news release said. Three other suspects were waiting outside, according to the news release.

Cope, who spotted the gunman upon entering the store, used his shotgun to shoot him from behind the counter, footage shows.

Craig Cope uses a shotgun to shoot gunmen in his store

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

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

“Shoot my hand, shoot my hand,” the 23-year-old suspect can be heard screaming as he leaves the facility, surveillance footage shows.

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

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

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

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Meanwhile, Cope, who had owned the store for 55 years, suffered a heart attack, reported MailOnline. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, the media reported.

In an interview with Fox 11 News on Wednesday, Cope said he was doing “much better” since 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 primary suspect, who remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, is in custody, according to the sheriff’s department.

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

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