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Three armed crooks try robbing man. But when he fights back, one crook drops his gun — and victim turns the tables, picking up gun and shooting crook dead.

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Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It proved to be a night when a trio of armed would-be robbers, all in their 20s, should have stayed put.

But instead they got out their vehicle early Saturday in the 1300 block of West 35th Street in Los Angeles, which is just west of the University of Southern California, and confronted a man at gunpoint in an attempt to rob him, police told the Los Angeles Times.

What happened next?

Presumably to their surprise, their victim wasn't about to play victim and fought back, police told the paper.

And lo and behold, amid the physical battle, one of the would-be robbers dropped his handgun — and unfortunately for him, the intended victim picked up the gun, police told the Times.

Not only that, he pulled the trigger and shot his attacker, police added to the paper.

Likely seeing their odds of a successful robbery quickly diminishing, the other two crooks hopped back in their car and fled, police told the Times.

What happened to the shot crook?

The would-be robber who was shot with his own gun was pronounced dead at the scene, police said to the paper, which noted that he was not identified.

Police detained and questioned the man who shot the would-be robber, the Times said, adding that he was later released and no charges have been filed.

Police didn't have a description of the other would-be robbers or their vehicle, the paper said, but the investigation is ongoing.

What did folks have to say about the incident?

Twitter users commenting on the L.A. Times' story about the incident were relieved by the outcome but decried the state of the streets and said law enforcement needs to do more:

  • "Arm yourself!!!" one commenter wrote. "You know the police will not show up. They even said they can't protect you."
  • "It’s the return of the Wild West. The more ineffective law enforcement is the more people will take their protection into their own hands," another user said. "Can’t blame them."
  • "This is what screaming 'defund the police' gets you. [District Attorney George Gascon] is a POS who will try to prosecute the person who had to fight to save his own life," another commenter offered.
  • "The more crime rises, and the more people feel those in power don’t care, the more citizens prepare for it, plan for it to happen, and arm themselves against it," another user noted. "And while this story had a seemingly positive ending, it bodes very poorly for the city to have Tombstone rules."
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