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Who is Craig Cope? 80-year-old California shopkeeper who shot dead gunman says: ‘It was him or me

NORCO, CALIFORNIA: An 80-year-old California liquor store owner who was caught on camera firing a shotgun at a would-be robber says, “When I was a kid, I hunted a lot.”

The early-morning incident at Norco Market & Liquor in Norco, California, east of Los Angeles, prompted the armed suspect to exit his store while shouting, “He shot my arm off!”

“I would always look after myself, my employees and my customers. I was lucky that I was here alone so that was all I had to take care of. The shopkeeper, whose name is Craig Cope, according to ‘CBS LA’, told the broadcaster: “I took care of it and that was it.”

Cope also told CBS LA, “More people should vote, and they should vote right. I think the politicians should… That’s not going to endear me to a lot of people, but there’s a lot of people out there who don’t know what it’s like to run a small business.

“And when they let people out … and let’s face it, we have bad people. Some people are bad. We don’t need bad people. He also said, “We have to put them in jail because this is a scary situation.”

Mr Cope told FOX11 that he didn’t have much time to decide what to do because the man had the gun pointed straight at him.

“I didn’t think he deserved a chance. I knew it was a semi-automatic weapon and someone might have turned it into an automatic weapon, which is the same as a machine gun, but I’m not going to let him fire the first shot at this point. “When I looked over and saw them getting out of the car wearing gloves, masks and a gun, I knew what was going to happen,” he said.

The unidentified 23-year-old gunman was seen on surveillance video holding a rifle. He was later found at a nearby hospital “with a gunshot wound consistent with a shotgun blast,” according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. He is still in critical but stable condition. When he gets better, he goes to jail.

Police say they have now arrested three other men who were in a getaway car during the attempted robbery. She is being investigated for robbery and conspiracy. According to media reports, Cope suffered a heart attack after the shooting and went back to work on August 2, 2022.