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Masked Robber Apologizes After Shooting Hawthorne Store Owner In Leg

HAWTHORNE ( — A masked robber apologized after he shot a Hawthorne market owner in the leg Tuesday evening.

The incident happened at the El Bodeguero Market located at 4516 W. Imperial Highway at 5:14 p.m., according to the Hawthorne Police Department.

"I saw a black shadow from the corner of my eye walk through around the corner…I guess he glocked the gun…and we realized it was for real," the victim's sister, who wished to remain unidentified, said.

The alleged gunman began going through boxes behind the counter looking for money as the victim attempted to open the cash register.

"[The suspect] was going through boxes where we sometimes put change in it, and I guess he was looking for more in that…at that moment we heard the gunshot," the sister said.

The victim fell to the ground in pain as the suspect escaped with cash, police said.

"He said he was very sorry. He kept saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' and I just remember yelling at him, 'Get whatever you want and get out,'" the sister said.

The victim's sister said her brother may have blocked his niece from being shot.

"If it weren't for my brother standing there, it would have been my daughter," she said.

The owner was transported to the hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. He's currently at home recovering.

The suspect was described as black, about 25- to 30-years-old, 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 to 210 pounds.

He was wearing a dark-colored zip-up jacket with a hood, a light-colored T-shirt, light-colored pants, tennis shoes, and some type of black mask over his face.

"Even after the victim was shot, he still took the time to take the cash from the business. Regardless of whether or not he was apologizing to the victim's family, he is a dangerous criminal and we would like to arrest him," Hawthorne police Lt. Gary Tomatani said.

Anyone with information about the crime was asked to contact Dets. Paul Vu or Andrew Batstone at (310) 349-2820.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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