Gun shop owner says LA turning to gun ownership over crime, safety concerns

On Monday, a homeowner in Valley Village shot one of several people accused of trying to break into his home in the middle of the day. 

That man was hospitalized. Two others took off after the shots rang out. Police said the 35-year-old suspect may be connected to other break-ins in the North Hollywood area.

And while some in the Valley Village area were surprised by the attempted break-in and the shooting, it's not the first incident in recent weeks in which residents have had to fend off criminals with guns.

Police said a homeless man attacked the owner of Sam's Kosher Bakery in North Hollywood on Sunday, June 30. According to reports, the owner pulled his gun, shooting and killing the homeless man in order to protect himself. In Glendale on July 7, police said a gunman tried to rob two people in a car, but the driver pulled his own gun, and shot and killed the suspect.

RELATED: Homeowner confronts, shoots intruder at Valley Village home

Gun shop owner Russell Stewart said gun sales appear to be up in Los Angeles County recently.

"We had a woman that came in today that wanted to buy a pistol because her apartment building had just been broken into, and she was terrified, so she wanted to own a gun," Stewart said. "We're seeing new people every single day. We're seeing people that own several firearms come in every single day. Personal protection is the number one topic, and unfortunately, they just do not have the trust in law enforcement and the DA to keep bad guys away. So they're going to guns for their own personal safety."

At Tuesday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting, LAPD Interim Chief Dominic Choi said that burglaries are up 20% in Los Angeles. Police said they are going to increase patrols in areas like Valley Village because of the robberies, and will also hold community meetings to help educate residents on what to do in emergency situations like Monday's attempted break-in.