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Armed, hooded men enter liquor store. But clerk pulls out his own gun — and one suspect pays dearly.

A pair of armed, hooded men attempted to rob a southern California liquor store Monday night — but the clerk fought back with his own gun. (Getty Images)

What went down?

  • Two hooded men entered a southern California liquor store with their faces partially covered Monday night in what police told the Whittier Daily News was an attempted robbery.

Image source: KTLA-TV video screenshot

  • The clerk inside the Whittier store told police he saw at least one man armed with a handgun, police added to the paper.
  • Then the clerk pulled out his own handgun, the Daily News said.
  • “There was an exchange of gunfire,” Whittier police spokesman Officer John Scoggins told the paper, adding he doesn't know if the suspects said anything before the shooting.
  • The clerk fatally shot one of the hooded men, the Daily News reported. He died in the store, Scoggins told the paper.
  • The other hooded man ran off, Scoggins added to the Daily News.
  • The clerk wasn't injured, Whittier police Sgt. Willie Lawson told the paper.

Image source: KTLA-TV video screenshot

  • Scoggins told the Daily News officers haven't recovered the suspected robbers' gun, but there was evidence they fired a weapon.
  • The dead man hasn't been identified but was described as a black and between 25 and 35 years old, coroner spokesman Ed Winter told the paper.
  • Police described the man who fled the scene as a black, about 6 feet tall, weighing between 160 to 180 pounds and wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with a bandana or other material partially covering his face, the Daily News said.

How did locals react?

  • "I'm so thankful that [the clerk] reacted as quick as he did, because had he not, who knows? It could have really gone sour," Valerie Villaneda, who lives above the liquor store, told KTLA-TV.

Image source: KTLA-TV video screenshot

  • "It might deter crime if more store owners carried guns," Jessie Maddox told the station. "They'd think twice about robbing the store."

Image source: KTLA-TV video screenshot

The clerk was alone at the time of the incident, KTLA reported, adding that the store is family owned and has been robbed in the past.

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