Guards engage in shootout with robbers at Rowland Heights jewelry store

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Armed robbers attempted to rob the Hing Wa Lee Jewelers in Rowland Heights and a shootout with the guards ensued, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Two security guards were involved in a shootout with masked armed robbers at a jewelry store in Rowland Heights on Monday.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said three suspects tried to enter Hing Wa Lee Jewelers near Brea Canyon Cutoff Road and Colima Road around 4:30 p.m.

Deputies said the suspects, who were wearing ski masks, opened fire while trying to get inside the store. Authorities said the security guards inside the jewelry store returned fire. Customers and employees were inside during the shootout.

The suspects never made it inside the store. After the shooting, both suspects took off, possibly in a late-model white Impala.

During the commotion, one guard fell and sustained minor injuries to his leg, officials stated. Both security guards - neither wanting to be identified - are now considered heroes.

"I'm very proud of my team, my guards, for the courage they had," owner David Lee said. "They went up the stairs and they were heading this way, shooting. Luckily our two armed guards were there to protect us, to fire back and hold them back."

Lee rushed back to his store after hearing news of the shootout. Authorities said they will rely on surveillance footage to gain information for the investigation and find the suspects.

Jeff Jacobs works in the building and said the attempted robbery is a wake-up call.

"I was downstairs in the undercover parking garage and I heard a very loud boom, like a noise I'd never heard before," he said. "It just really makes you realize how special life is because anytime anything could happen. You never take anything for granted."

No one was struck by gunfire, deputies said. Lee said the suspects took off their masks and gloves and left them behind when they fled, which could help the investigation.

CORRECTION: It was previously reported that a security guard had fallen out of a second-story window during the confrontation, but officials now say the guard did not fall out of a window.
Related Topics:
newsattempted robberyshootingarmed robberylos angeles county sheriff's departmentsecurityRowland HeightsLos Angeles County
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