By Ed Mertz

GARDENA ( — Police say an off-duty security guard shot a man he claims was trying to rob him in Gardena.

The incident happened at the Gardena Discount Mall in the 2000 block of Rosecrans Avenue about 6 p.m. Saturday.

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According to investigators, the victim was approached by the suspect who demanded his cellphone.

“The suspect displayed what appeared to be a handgun, simulated it and approached the victim while he was seated in his vehicle and threatened to kill him if he didn’t give him his property,” Gardena Police Lt. Steve Prendergast told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz.

“Fearing for his life, the victim of the robbery shot the suspect,” Prendergast said.

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Mertz reports after being shot in the stomach, the man stumbled into a nearby swap meet and collapsed.

He was subsequently taken to an area hospital where he underwent surgery. His current condition was not immediately known.

Police told Mertz the off-duty security guard has a permit for his weapon.

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Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Gardena Police Department.