Salinas Resident Shoots Two Armed Robbery Suspects, Killing One
October 5, 2012
One 17-year-old boy is dead after he was shot while attempting to rob Saltillo Tortilleria restaurant on North Sanborn road Thursday night. The other robbery suspect, also a 17-year-old boy, is in critical condition after being shot in the torso by a 36-year-old man who grabbed a handgun from his vehicle after seeing the robbery in progress.
Around 6:45pm, the boys entered the busy restaurant, pointed weapons at patrons and workers and demanded money. A Salinas resident, who is not being named except as a Good Samaritan, was in the parking lot waiting for someone who worked at the restaurant and saw the commotion from his car. He grabbed a handgun—which he legally owned—from his car and entered the business, shooting both suspects.
“He reacted to the threat and I commend him,” says Salinas Police Commander Dave Crabill. “Our department’s stance is to encourage people to get involved by giving us as much detailed information as possible, but there are times, like this one, where an individual believes the situation warranted another action.”
The suspects left the business in a car driven by a third party and were dropped off at Natividad Hospital in Salinas for treatment. The teen was pronounced dead shortly after being admitted to the hospital. The second wounded suspect was flown to a Bay Area hospital for further treatment.
After the incident, the Good Samaritan fled, but returned and cooperated with the police investigation. No charges are being brought against the shooter.
“He was confronted with a situation where he felt people in the business were threatened with deadly force,” says Crabill. “There is no doubt that the patrons and workers in that business were very supportive of his reaction.”
The case, which is being investigated as a gang-related crime, is being turned over to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office for review. It’s possible the second suspect could face murder charges since his partner’s death occurred during the commission of a robbery.