A burglary suspect remains outstanding Saturday and his accomplice is dead after the pair allegedly broke into a Lancaster doughnut shop where they were fired on by a store employee.
The shooting was initially reported as a burglary in progress at 2:53 a.m. Friday in the 43600 block of 15th Street West, according to Deputy Grace Medrano of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Responding deputies found the front glass door to the shop shattered and were met by an employee who told them the suspects broke the glass and entered the store, Medrano said.
One of them grabbed the cash register, while the second suspect forced his way past the front counter and approached the employee with a tire iron, according to Medrano.
“The employee, fearing for his safety, shot the suspect with a gun he had inside the store,” Medrano said. “The suspect collapsed inside the store while the other suspect ran away.”
The wounded man, estimated to be in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene and authorities withheld his name pending family notification.
The tire iron that the deceased suspect was wielding was recovered at the scene, Medrano said.
The suspects left a vehicle behind, according to a report from the scene.
The shop was not open to customers at the time of the break-in.
“Apparently, (the employee) had been the victim of a robbery before,” sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Lt. John Corina said of the employee, whose name was withheld. “He had been robbed at a previous donut shop where he worked.”
Corina noted that in California, it’s legal to be armed while working inside one’s business just as it’s legal for residents to be armed while inside their homes.
The employee was interviewed but was not arrested, she added, and the employee’s firearm was recovered at the scene.
“The facts of the case will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration,” Medrano said.
—City News Service