La Habra police say a man wearing a bandana and a cap went into a Harbor Mart Liquor at 321 N. Harbor Blvd. just after 2 p.m., showing a handgun and attempting to rob the store.
The clerk was armed with a weapon, pulled it out and that's when the gunfire erupted between the two, officials said.
The suspect then fled the scene in a dark gray SUV with at least one other male, police said.
No injuries were reported.
Anyone with information on the attempted robbery was asked to call La Habra police at (562) 905-9761.