SAN DIMAS (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a Quiznos restaurant in San Dimas was pronounced dead Wednesday after being shot during a robbery.
Deputies were sent shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday to the chain restaurant located in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway for report of an assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Upon their arrival, deputies located a 63-year-old man suffering from a single gunshot wound to his torso.
Paramedics airlifted the victim to the hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Hospital officials later pronounced him dead.
The victim has been identified as Pravin Patel of San Dimas, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
A preliminary investigation revealed the suspect walked into the restaurant, pulled out a semiautomatic handgun, and threatened to kill two customers if he didn't receive money.
The shop owner proceeded to hand over a bag of cash, but followed the suspect outside.
Deputies believe a struggle ensued outside, which subsequently led to the fatal shooting.
Detectives described the suspect as a Caucasian or Hispanic man who is between 25 to 30 years old, stands 6-feet-tall and weighs 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black cap, black shirt, and dark shorts with a plaid pattern.
The shooter remains at large
On Wednesday, CBS2's Tom Wait spoke to Patel's grieving family and customers shaken by the murder.
"This is really, really bad, said sister-in-law Saroj Patel.
His heartbroken family says Patel moved to the Southland to live the American dream.
"We came to this country because it's the best in the world but we find out there are some animals who live here," said the victim's brother, Satish.
Satish and his wife said 63-year-old Patel was happily married, had children and grandchildren.
Emotional customers left flowers and messages of support outside the Quiznos. He and his wife were popular with residents
"They were great people - great to everyone. Just a shame. Just a shame," said Lori Arnold.
Patel's family says the Quiznos will likely close.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the San Dimas Sheriff's Station.
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