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Store Owner Arrested For Shooting At Shoplifters

SAN JACINTO (CBSLA) — A business owner in San Jacinto grabbed his gun, when two burglars tried to get away from his store. Now he's the one facing charges for shooting one of the men in the arm.

The owner of Soboba Smoke Shop bailed out of jail earlier today. He didn't want to talk to CBSLA, but a lot of people are talking about this case and what business owners should be allowed to do.

Customers can't believe the owner of Soboba Smoke Shop is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, after he tried to stop two burglars from leaving his store. Ed White was working across the street when he heard the gunshots.

"I jumped up, ran to the door and there's a big commotion going on over here," said White.

Sheriff deputies say a 41-year-old man and a 16-year-old had stolen a couple boxes of butane from the store. They were trying to drive away, when the store owner followed them out and fired at the car, hitting the man in the arm. When that man, Juan Miguel Macias, showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound, he was arrested and charged with burglary and child endangerment. But deputies also arrested the store owner, Nabeel Qandah.

"A lot of people are under the belief if someone is coming to their location, that they have the right to use whatever force is necessary," said Sgt. Chris Willison, Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

But investigators say in this case, the shoplifters had not used a weapon so the store owner had no reason to feel he was in danger. And by opening fire outside the store, there was the potential of someone else getting hurt.

Qandah did not want to talk to CBSLA, but his employees say the store has been robbed in the past. That's why some people think he was right to take action.

"If he was protecting his own, then he should have done it. Because if I was protecting my own, I'd do the same thing," said White.

"Use your best judgement, be a good witness, contact your local police department, provide all the details you can, and let us go and work the investigation," said Willison.

There are security cameras outside of the shop. Deputies don't know whether the shooting was caught on the cameras but they say that will be part of the investigation moving forward.

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