A drive-thru customer unloaded on an armed robber at a fast food restaurant, shooting the bad guy twice and sending him to the hospital in the process.
The Armed Robber
CBS Los Angeles reports that the masked suspect—60-year-old Steve Rodriguez—walked into the Cozy Corner Drive In in Santa Ana at around 12:45 a.m. armed with a revolver. CCTV footage shows Rodriguez rush into the restaurant. He throws a bag at an employee behind the counter and order her to start filling it with money.
The employee loads the cash from the register into the bag. She then hands it to Rodriguez. Just as Rodriguez turns to make his escape, multiple shots ring out inside the restaurant. This causes him to fall to the ground.
Drive-Thru Customer Saves The Day
Security footage shows a silver Honda Accord in the drive-thru lane by the window while the robbery is going down. Witnesses said there were three people—a man and two women—inside the car. The driver of the vehicle opened fire on Rodriguez. The car then sped off.
NBC Los Angeles says Rodriguez managed to get outside the restaurant, where he collapsed. Police arrived on the scene. Rodriguez was taken the hospital to be treated for two bullet wounds in his upper torso.
Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the OC Register that Rodriguez—a transient—is believed to be responsible for a carjacking and at least three other robberies in the area.
Meanwhile, authorities are still working to identify the armed citizen who shot Rodriguez. They’re also trying to determine whether the shooter was a bystander trying to stop the robbery, or a gang member trying to protect his territory.
“It was very dangerous, one of the employees could have been shot,” Santa Ana Police Cmdr. Michael Claborn said.
“If you look at the video you can see he was shooting past (the employees), it’s obviously a dangerous act,” Bertagna added. “Unfortunately, the person that did the shooting didn’t stick around to explain their actions.”
Restaurant cook Daniel Acevedo told CBS he believes the shooter was simply an armed citizen trying to stop a bad guy. But the police believe otherwise—the OC Register says the driver is “now wanted on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.”