Norco liquor store owner Craig Cope, 80, who rose to viral fame after shooting dead a robber, has died

NORCO, Calif. (KABC)– An 80-year-old Norco liquor store owner who went viral earlier this year after he blew up an armed robber with his shotgun has died.

Craig Cope was seen on video July 31 firing a shot at an armed suspect who burst into the store with a rifle. The suspect was one of four men who pulled up to rob the store.

But after Cope shot him with the shotgun, the suspect ran out and was heard on video screaming, “He shot my arm off! He shot my arm off!”

READ MORE | Gunman flees in panic as Norco liquor store owner fires shotgun: ‘He shot off my arm!’

Media coverage and viral video of the surveillance footage made Cope a local celebrity for a time. People flocked to the store to congratulate him and take pictures, even buying merchandise like a t-shirt with the slogan “Don’t mess with Norco, we’ll shoot your arm off.”

Cope suffered a heart attack after the robbery, but recovered and went back to work. Then in October he suffered a stroke.

Tuesday morning the Store Facebook page announced that he had died.

“We lost our Craig this morning. I’m sorry I don’t have words right now, but I promised not to leave you in the dark. There will be a memorial here in the store, so if I find a date I’ll be sure to let you know.”

Cope has owned and operated the business since 1976, according to the GoFundMe founded to help his family.

After the shooting, all four suspects were taken into custody after being found at a hospital where the suspect who was shot was being treated. Deputies also recovered the vehicle stolen from Las Vegas, as well as numerous firearms and other evidence.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Norco liquor store owner Craig Cope, 80, who rose to viral fame after shooting dead a robber, has died

Laura Coffey

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