The looting in Santa Monica came amid nationwide unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man who died last week after a white police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
The owner of the liquor store, who only identified as Joe, told CBSLA he and his friends stood in front of the business with guns to discourage potential looters.
“It was a good thing I had my customers and friends by my side, because it was pretty scary,” Joe told the station.
Joe said he and his friends helped nearby businesses discourage looters as well.
Santa Monica was one of many cities throughout the U.S. ransacked over the weekend by rioters seeking to co-opt the largely peaceful protests.
To quell the unrest, the city enacted a 1 p.m. curfew Monday for its business districts and 4 p.m. for the rest of the city.