'This isn't a good place to pick': Norco store owner, 80, warns those looking to target his business

A Norco store owner is going viral after turning the tables against would-be robbers.

Early Sunday morning around 2:45 a.m., four suspects in a black BMW SUV pulled up to target 80-year-old Craig Cope's business on Clark Avenue. Seeing that one of the suspects was entering the Norco Market & Liquor with a rifle, Cope grabbed his own gun from under the counter and shot the suspect. The suspect then turned around and ran off from the store.

As the suspects sprinted toward the getaway car, surveillance video from outside the store caught a moment where one of the suspects can be heard shouting, "He shot my arm off."

Cope suffered a heart attack following the tense incident, but has since been released from the hospital and FOX 11 was able to speak with him Tuesday.

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"I'm doing better," he said of his conditions Tuesday. "I'm doing a lot better than I was that night."

Cope was asked how he was able to take down the suspect so quickly and accurately. The store owner said he grew up hunting game squirrels, rabbits and quail in Illinois.

He said he was a pretty good hunter.

"When I was 10, I had a gun," Cope explained. "I put a lot of food on the table on a regular basis and I had a single shot. So ammunition was expensive when I had to buy it myself."

Cope's message to anyone looking to target his business?

"This isn't a good place to pick," he said.

RELATED: 'He shot my arm off': Elderly store owner opens fire on would-be robber in Norco

The store owner also called on politicians to take action in the wake of crimes taking place across Southern California. 

"They got no clue what's really going on out here in the real world," Cope said.

He said some of the burglars in SoCal "go right back to what they used to do," even if they end up in handcuffs or behind bars.

"The crime rate is escalating," Cope said. "It's going to continue to escalate until they start putting the people away that are doing the bad things. And as far as here and my place, it wouldn't do anything good to call the local sheriffs. They can't get here that quick."

Below is the full interview with Cope: