Employee shoots at 2 armed men attempting to rob Vista restaurant

2 who showed up at hospital with wounds arrested

VISTA, Calif. - Two armed men were shot by an employee of a Vista restaurant they tried to rob, and deputies on Saturday arrested two men who showed up at an emergency room with gunshot wounds from a mysterious claimed assault.

The employee called the sheriff's department shortly after 9:30 p.m. Friday to report the robbery attempt at his place of business, Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine, in a shopping center on Sycamore Avenue near Shadowridge
Drive, according to sheriff's Sgt. Jay Pavlenko.

The employee told authorities that as the two gun-wielding men entered the restaurant, he retrieved his own handgun and fired eight shots. He believed he had shot both suspects in their upper body areas, Pavlenko said.

The wounded suspects then ran off through the back door empty-handed, according to the sergeant.

Deputies, some using dogs and a helicopter, searched unsuccessfully for the suspects and local hospitals were advised to be on the lookout, Pavlenko said.

Shortly after midnight, two men with gunshot wounds showed up at the Tri- City Medical Center in Oceanside and told responding deputies that they were injured while walking near Oceanside's John Landes Park, Pavlenko said.

Neither man could provide a suspect description or an exact location of the alleged shooting, Pavlenko said. Oceanside police could not find a crime scene in the park.

Sheriff's officials said their injuries, which were considered non-life-threatening, were consistent with the restaurant employee's description.

While the men were being treated for their wounds, detectives continued to investigate.

Both men were released from the hospital, and were then arrested on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and various other weapons and probation violation charges, sheriff's Sgt. Debbie Eglin said.

Eglin said that neither suspects' name would be released since the investigation was ongoing.

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