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Robbery Suspect Dies Days After Glendora Ralphs Shootout

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GLENDORA (CBS) — Authorities Tuesday said an armed robbery suspect who exchanged gunfire with Glendora police during a shootout at a Los Angeles County supermarket has died.

Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner’s office said 29-year-old Luis Varela died about 11 a.m. Monday, two days after he was shot.

luis varella Robbery Suspect Dies Days After Glendora Ralphs Shootout

(credit: California Department Of Motor Vehicles)

The shootout occurred about 5 p.m. Saturday inside a crowded Ralphs grocery store on South Grand Avenue, sheriff’s Sgt. Harry Drucker said.

Drucker said Varela was shot as he used a checkout stand as cover while firing at a police officer.

The sequence of events began about an hour earlier when a Kohl’s department store on South Lone Hill Avenue was robbed. An hour later, a Glendora police officer tried to detain a man he believed to be the suspect, and the man pulled out a handgun and ran into the Ralphs store.

The officer followed, and the suspect fired his handgun at the officer, who returned fire.

“The Ralphs was crowded,” said sheriff’s Lt. John Corina, speaking at the scene of the shooting. “It was full of people shopping at the time, and the suspect was firing from behind the check stands at the officer as he entered the store.”

Varela was struck once in the upper body. No one else was injured, Drucker said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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