LANCASTER – One of two men who broke into a Lancaster doughnut shop early Friday morning was shot to death by an employee, authorities said.
A call about the shooting came in a little before 3 a.m. from the 43600 block of 15th Street West in Lancaster, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
According to a preliminary investigation, two men smashed the front window of the business and entered it, apparently intending to burglarize the shop, and an employee shot one of them, the sheriff’s department reported.
The wounded suspect died at the scene. His name has not yet been released pending next of kin notification.
“The other suspect took off, ran away,” Lt. John Carino told reporters Friday.
The donut shop’s owner told KTLA that her employee was “very shook up” over the situation.
“I’m just glad that he’s okay,” she said.
“Apparently, he had been the victim of a robbery before,” Lt. Corina said of the employee, whose name was withheld. “He had been robbed at a previous donut shop where he worked.”
Corina noted that in California, it’s legal to be armed while working inside one’s business just as it’s legal for residents to be armed while inside their homes.
The shooting remains under investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
UPDATE: A news release from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau gave more details on the fatal shooting. Read a portion of it below:
Detectives have learned that Lancaster Station deputies responded to the location for a “burglary in progress” call for service. When deputies arrived, they found the front glass door of the business shattered. An employee of the business met the deputies outside the location and explained to the deputies that at the time of the burglary, the store was closed for business when several suspects broke the glass and entered the store.
One of the suspects grabbed the cash register, while the second suspect forced his way past the front counter and approached him with a tire iron. The employee, fearing for his safety, shot the suspect with a gun he had inside the store. The suspect collapsed inside the store while the other suspect ran away.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased suspect had no identification on him and has yet to be identified. The deceased suspect is described as a male black adult, possibly in his 20’s.
The second suspect is still outstanding and the only description given is a male.
The tire iron that the second suspect was wielding was recovered at the scene.
This employee was interviewed but was not arrested. The employee’s firearm was recovered at the scene.
The facts of the case will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.
The investigation is ongoing and there is no additional information available at this time.