Torrance Police Department

Jewelry Store Owner Shoots, Kills Would-Be Robber

A Torrance jewelry store owner reportedly shot and killed a man attempting to rob his shop Tuesday afternoon.

The shooting was reported just after noon at Leilani’s Jewelers in the 18000 block of Prairie Avenue, according to Sgt. Paul Kranke of the Torrance Police Department.

The owner told police the suspect had been shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery, Kranke said.

The man brandished a handgun at the store's owner before he was shot, but there is no evidence he fired before he was killed, police said.

"The owner has a right to protect himself and that's what seemed to have transpired here today," Kranke said.

Longtime customers and neighbors of the store owner said they were shocked and dismayed by the shooting, and told NBC4 there had never been another similar robbery.

The owner must open the door for each individual customer.

"I've always worried about him because he's always working by himself but he has a security gate," customer Irene Patino said.

Patino said she has been visiting the store for 25 years because it specializes in Hawaiian jewelry.

Police said the owner is physically OK and is cooperating with investigators.

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