STOCKTON (CBS13) – A customer was caught in the crossfire during a takeover-style robbery at a pharmacy in Stockton on Tuesday in the latest violence to plague the city.
Two armed suspects walked into Doug’s El Dorado Drug Store on E. Mariposa Road around 11 a.m. Tuesday as more than a dozen customers and about 15 employees were inside, according to Stockton police.
Yellow evidence tents marked the spot where a 60-year-old woman shopping inside the pharmacy was hit after a shootout between the armed robbers and clerks behind the counter, who were also armed.
It’s not clear who fired first.
“That’s something our investigators through their interviews will figure out – who shot who – and then deal with that situation,” Stockton Police Officer Joseph Silva said.
Longtime owner Doug Bennett says several employees and customers were inside when shots rang out.
“When somebody gets hurt, it’s … we’re all family,” he said. “It’s tragic because the employees, they are family too. Some of these were very shaken.”
Loyal customers arriving to pick up medication also were shaken to see the neighborhood pharmacy turn into a crime scene.
“It’s really shocking to hear this, see this right here,” she said.
“My mother was here to pick up her diabetes medicine,” Frank Thomas said. “If we had come a little earlier, we could have been in there.
The woman shot during the botched robbery was rushed to the hospital. Police say she’s expected to survive.
In the end, the robbers left without stealing prescription drugs or cash.
“We tried to provide a safe environment,” Bennett said. “Especially with so many people, we didn’t feel we were a target.”
Witnesses told police what the getaway car looked like and officers stopped it on the freeway. Troy Buzo, 18, Nick Buzo, 20, Elijah Nevarez, 19, and Kevin Ayala, 20, were arrested for robbery with additional charges pending, police said.