One of four robbers was shot and killed, and a security guard was wounded, during a shootout at an illegal pot shop in Compton, police said Monday.
Authorities say three suspects are still at large after the shootout at the store in the 1500 block of South Wilmington Avenue just before 7 p.m. Sunday.
"They're pretty brazen. I'm assuming this is not the first time this crew has done this," said Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the LA County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies called to the scene found a security guard outside the shop, located in a strip mall at Wilmington and Greenleaf Boulevard, who had been wounded in the gunfight. He told the deputies that four men had entered the illegal pot shop and tried to rob it at gunpoint, which is when the guard exchanged gunfire with one of the suspects.
"It scared me," said Carolyn Um, a store clerk next door who called the police.
Business owners and customers at the shopping plaza say they've been complaining to law enforcement for years about this illegal pot shop but nothing's been done. Adding to their concerns is the fact that right across the street is a middle school.
"It is a problem and they're popping up everywhere," said Reynaga.
Business owners say that there's been violence there before and that customers are weary.
"I'm scared [and] nervous because it's not right. There's a lot of people [in the strip mall] all the time," said Roy Lugo, a frequent customer. "If it keeps going like this, I don't know what's going to happen."
The security guard, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, was taken to a local hospital and survived. His gun, and the one used by the suspect, were both recovered at the scene.
All four of the suspects sped away from the area in an unknown direction, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
A short time later, one of the suspects was dropped off at a hospital with a gunshot wound. Despite being treated for the wound, he later died of the injury. His name has not been released. The other three suspects remain at large.
Anyone with information about this shooting can call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500.
for more features.