Reporting Anjali Hemphill
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento cell phone store owner said he was forced to fire when an armed intruder entered the business, and surveillance video supports that, a sheriff’s official said.
The Metro PCS store on Folsom Boulevard was closed Monday, a day after the store’s owner shot and killed a suspected robber, and the owner was too shaken up to talk on camera.
But investigators say that after reviewing the surveillance video of the shooting, it’s not hard to understand why the owner took out a gun, aimed and pulled the trigger.
“Any time somebody points a gun at you, it’s pretty easy to articulate that your life is in imminent danger,” Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Ramos said Monday.
Deputies say the suspect jumped behind the counter and tried robbing the owners at gunpoint.The suspect was identified as Derick Hunter, 30, of Citrus Heights.
The clerk at the liquor store next door did not want to show his face on camera Monday but told CBS13 the cell phone store owners armed themselves after another robbery in October.
“They feel bad,” he said. “They are here to work not to do a shooting, you know?”
He said after the October robbery was a frightening experience for the store owner.
“They didn’t open for like five days because he got so scared,” he said. “They took him at gunpoint to the back and took all the phones and everything from him.”
CBS13 has learned the sheriff’s department has responded to 10 other calls at the Rosemont store in the past year, but none of those were for violent crimes.
“This stretch of Folsom Boulevard is a haven for robberies,” Ramos said.
The sheriff’s department is overrun with robberies, but, this latest incident has investigators’ full attention. They say it bears a striking similarity to October’s robbery, right down to the suspect description.
“Would this have just stopped at a robbery? It’s possible, but we’ve also had robberies that escalated into shootings where people lose their lives,” Ramos said.
Hunter was on parole and had an active criminal history, according to the sheriff’s department. Detectives are looking into whether he could have been responsible for other robberies in this area.
Meanwhile, the decision on if the owner killed in self-defense is now up to the district attorney.