Reporting Juan Fernandez
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A robbery attempt on a downtown jewelry store Tuesday was intercepted by an off-duty reserve sheriff’s deputy, who shot one of the suspects. Two other suspects got away.
The botched robbery happened in downtown L.A.’s jewelry district at a store near Broadway and 6th Street.
Three men armed with guns hit two downtown jewelry stores at the same time.
The first man, wearing a red hoodie, could be seen on security video, as it was viewed by a detective. The young man jumped the counter, grabbed some gold chains and left.
Next door at 601 Broadway, two men entered a story and one of them allegedly put a .38-caliber revolver to the security guard’s chest, while the other suspect jumped over the counter.
Little did they know that also in that store was an off-duty reserve sheriff deputy working security as well and he was armed.
“Here in a very busy intersection, that’s correct. We’re very lucky that nobody was hit,” said LAPD Lt. Walt Teague.
A 22-year old out on parole for burglary was hit by the off-duty deputy’s bullet and treated at the scene.
The other suspect got away, firing some shots off along the way, according to investigators.
Across the street, jewelry store owner Omid Rabee said he had seen the three men in the area the previous day.
“I’d seen the guys laying on the street for the past couple of days. You know, they looked suspicious. I knew they were up to something,” Rabee said.
Rabee and other jewelry store owners said that they do the best they can to provide security, but feel the area lacks a more visible police presence.
“This is very dangerous. Police, police we need help, more police here on the Broadway,” said store owner Mahvash Zendedel.
The owner of 603 Broadway said that it was the first time in 27 years that he had been robbed. But next door, he recalled the place being robbed at least five times.
Tuesday night the steel security gates were down, while police continued to search for the two men, who got away.
Investigators said that they interviewed witnesses and other business owners in the area and were also following up on some pretty good leads.
They said that they believed with one man in custody, it would not be long before he gave up the other two.