Donut shop employee fatally shoots attempted robbery suspect in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A homicide investigation is underway after an attempted robbery suspect was killed by an employee at a Lancaster donut shop early Friday morning, authorities said.

Authorities said a shooting was reported around 2:53 a.m. at Sugary Donut, which is located in the 43600 block of 15th Street West. When authorities arrived, the male suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shop owner said her employee shot the suspect during a failed robbery attempt. The employee wasn't injured and is being questioned by detectives.

Authorities said two men smashed the front door of the shop, ran past the counter and that's when the employee opened fire.

A longtime customer to the business described the employee as the step-father of the owner and he works overnights before the shop opens.

"Apparently he had been the victim of a robbery before, he had been robbed at a previous donut shop where he worked," said Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau.

The second suspect ran off and remains on the loose. Authorities said the deceased suspect appeared to be armed with a tire iron.

They were able to grab a cash register, but dropped it when the shooting broke out.

Stopping short of calling the shooting justified, Corina said the employee was exercising his rights.

"Well, it's legal in California. You work inside your business, you can be armed. You can have a weapon inside your business, just like you can have a weapon inside your home," he said.

The investigation was ongoing.

Anyone with more information was urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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