Man accused of robbing 10 stores in SoCal, Arizona accidently shot himself at end of chase

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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A Phoenix man has been charged with robbing 10 stores in Southern California and Arizona before accidentally shooting himself after a high-speed police chase that ended in Rancho Cucamonga.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Phoenix man has been charged with robbing 10 stores in Southern California and Arizona before accidentally shooting himself after a high-speed police chase that ended in Rancho Cucamonga.

Samuel Sven Smith, 26, used a handgun to rob the stores, including nine PetSmart locations, over three weeks beginning on July 31, according to an affidavit filed with the federal criminal complaint, the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

Most of the stores were in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties but one was in Phoenix, and Smith stole about $7,000, prosecutors said.

After robbing a PetSmart store in Rancho Cucamonga on Aug. 20, Smith noticed law enforcement approaching, shot at and hit an unmarked U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives car, then began a 20-minute chase through several cities during which he fired at law enforcement pursuers, prosecutors alleged.

New video captured his arrest and Smith can be seen bleeding from his mouth. He told arresting officers that when pursuing police rammed into his car, he lost control of his gun and accidentally shot himself in the face.

Eyewitnesses were stunned by the crash that brought the pursuit to an end.

"I was just working, trying to make a living, and I see a car pass... really fast and then it flips over and then I see like 14 police officers.. It was pretty scary, you know, my heart's racing," said a witness who identified themselves only as Diego.

Smith was charged with interference with commerce by robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer, authorities said. He remained hospitalized as of Monday.

He could face up to 20 years in prison on some charges if convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.