CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy recounted the moment when he happened to walk into a 7-Eleven in Carson as armed robbers were holding a clerk at gunpoint and rummaging through the cash register.
In an interview on Tuesday, Deputy Luis Cisneros described the incident that occurred about 12:30 a.m. Saturday in the 1700 block of Avalon Boulevard, near Victoria Street.
"When I opened that door, the first thing that I remember seeing was one person digging into the shelves, another person digging through the cash register, another person with the clerk," Cisneros told reporters. "For that moment, it felt like time had paused and I knew that I had to react.
"As soon as time restarted all over again, that's when I took action," said Cisneros, nine-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department.
That action, which was captured on surveillance video, included immediately drawing his gun and calling for backup on the walkie-talkie microphone clipped to his uniform.
The footage shows the suspects scrambling to the back of the convenience store as Cisneros stands in the doorway.
Moments before the deputy arrived, the surveillance camera recorded the suspects as they ran into the 7-Eleven and jumped over the counter. Cisneros, who was not responding to an emergency call at the time, then walked through the door.
After foiling the attempted robbery, he held the suspects at gunpoint while waiting for fellow deputies to arrive. The four would-be robbers were then taken into custody without incident.
Authorities are investigating whether the suspects are responsible for a string of other recent robberies at 7-Elevens in the area of Long Beach and Lakewood.