A restaurant employee fired several shots inside a Vista eatery Friday night after two men allegedly attempted to rob the business while armed with their own guns, according to officials.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said shots were fired just after 9:30 p.m. at Uncle Tony’s Italian Cuisine located at 770 Sycamore Ave.
An employee called deputies to report that two men armed with guns had entered the restaurant.
Before the alleged would-be robbers could open fire, the employee said he retrieved his own handgun and fired at them in self-defense.
According to deputies, the restaurant employee told officials he fired eight shots from his handgun while the attempted robbery suspects were inside the eatery. The employee said he believed he struck both suspects in the upper-body area.
Once gunfire erupted, the suspects fled through the back door of the business. Nothing was stolen from the restaurant.
Deputies arrived on scene and began searching for the suspects but the men were not immediately located. The sheriff’s department issued a lookout alert in case the suspects showed up to any local hospitals with gunshot wounds.
Just after midnight, two men suffering from gunshot wounds arrived at the Tri-City Hospital emergency room, according to officials.
Vista detectives were called. During an interview with detectives, the men claimed they had been shot while walking near John Landis Park in Oceanside. However, officials said neither man could provide an exact location of the alleged shooting or a suspect description to detectives.
Oceanside police checked the park for evidence of the shooting but said no crime scene was found.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said detectives determined that the gunshot wounds sustained by the men were consistent with the shooting described by the employee at Uncle Tony’s Italian Cuisine.
The injuries were non-life threatening, deputies said. The incident remains under investigation. The names of the employee and suspects were not released.