California shop owner fatally shoots masked robbers, 3rd suspect on the run

A California smoke shop owner fatally shot two armed robbers in ski masks when they tried to rob his store Friday night, police said.

A third suspect is on the run after he fled from the Smoke N Vape Smoke Shop near the intersection of Blackstone and Cambridge avenues in Fresno.

Police Lt. Tim Tietjen said the three armed men, dressed in dark clothing and ski masks, entered the shop around 9:30 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk.

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The store owner, who was outside, re-entered the shop and confronted the robbers as they were trying to leave, the Fresno Bee reported.

Tietjen said the owner pulled out his own gun and multiple shots were then fired.

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“As we understand, there might’ve been an exchange of gunfire,” he added.

Police said two of the suspected robbers were hit by bullets and were taken to the Community Regional Medical Center where they later died.

A third suspect fled the scene on foot and remains loose. A description of the suspect was not immediately available.

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Tietjen said there were no other injuries and that the store owner is not expected to face any charges.