When confronted in his store in Norco, California, by an armed man wearing a hood and mask early Sunday morning, 80-year-old Craig Cope raised his shotgun and offered a warning. The warning did not work, but the shotgun did.
The would-be robber, struck by the blast in the arm, ran off yelling, "He shot my arm off."
Cope told CBSLA that "the guy is in the hospital, in critical condition. So, it must have been a pretty good shot."
The injured suspect, yet to be named, was one of four. The other three, who allegedly were also armed and masked and came in a stolen vehicle — Davon Broadus, Jamar Williams, and Justin Johnson — were arrested and charged with robbery and conspiracy. They will make their first court appearance August 3.
Despite suffering a heart attack after the incident and requiring three stents, Cope returned to work on Tuesday.
He told one reporter, "I would always protect my employees, my customers, myself." Regarding the foiled robbery, he said, "I took care of it and that was that."
Without explicitly naming any California prosecutors or politicians, Cope suggested that "there's a whole lotta people out there, they got no clue what it's like to try to run a small business. And when they're letting people out ... and we've got bad people, let's face it. There's bad people, bad people we don't need."
Cope offered two recommendations. First, "More people should vote and vote the right way."
Second, "We need to get [bad people] locked up because this is a scary situation when that happens."
While a scary situation, Cope was ready. "I did a lot of hunting when I was a little kid."
Cope's wife, who told CBSLA she did not want to be identified, issued a warning to prospective criminals in the area: "Stay out of Norco, because everybody in Norco has a gun."