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Armed robbers narrowly escape Garden Grove jewelry store owner's gunfire

August 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Garden Grove jewelry store owner opened fire on five masked armed robbers who stormed into the shop, thwarting what police say was likely a smash-and-grab heist.

The entire incident happened in 1 minute. Surveillance video shows a white Ford SUV backing into a handicap parking space at the front of the store. One by one, the suspects dressed in dark clothing rushed into the store with guns drawn.

As two of the suspects aimed their weapons at employees and a single customer demanding everyone drop to the ground, the three other suspects opened pillow cases and demanded cash.

The storeowner was in the back of the store and apparently saw what was happening through a small window in a wall that separates the rooms.

"She felt that these suspects where possibly going to injury the employees or the customer, so she fired two rounds from her handgun towards the suspects, which caused them to flee the store," said Garden Grove Police Lt. Jeff Nightengale.

The suspects stumbled and ran into each other as they clamored to escape the storeowner's blazing gun. One suspect fired off a round that hit the ceiling before exiting. The suspects jumped into the getaway car and left.

"Obviously, we are leery of recommending that storeowners take immediate action. It's all going to have to be based on the circumstances at hand," Nightengale said.

The store workers and customer were not injured.