Gunfight at pot dispensary: 1 dead, 1 on the run

SAN DIEGO - A gunfight at a North Park marijuana dispensary left one attempted robbery suspect dead and another on the run Friday afternoon.

The shootout happened around 12:30 p.m. in the 3800 block of Ray Street, according to San Diego police.

It was not immediately clear whether the place was open for business or vacant and waiting to begin operation.

Police say the gunfight erupted during an attempted robbery, and during the gun battle, an armed security guard was shot in the abdomen. According to police, the guard returned fire and fatally shot one of the robbery suspects.

The other suspect allegedly took off in a white vehicle.

Jodie Russo, owner of Le Wax Boutique -- located next door to the dispensary -- told KOGO that she heard three gun shots before people began to run for cover.   

"I was shaking pretty good,” Russo said. “Yeah, running around with my sandwich in one hand, trying to lock all the doors, and gather all the clients together. It was pretty surreal."     

The security guard was rushed to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he was to undergo surgery. His condition Friday night was not confirmed.

Witness Kevin London said he happened to be driving by in his pickup truck when almost struck the second robber as he ran away.

“They (police) got my truck taped off to make sure there's no fingerprints of the assailant on the truck,” London said. “If there is, that's good; closer to catching the dude.”

Police were unsure if the second robber was wounded in the shootout.

“The other suspect, we have no knowledge,” San Diego police Lt. Manuel Del Toro said. “People saw him running from the area. (There was) no indication the second suspect was wounded.”

Police were investigating whether the getaway vehicle sideswiped a wall in a nearby alley.

That suspect is described as black and in his 20s. He is about 6 feet tall and was wearing a blue hoody. He is believed to still be armed.

Meanwhile, Bargain Center owner Joel Dreifuss said he has seen dispensaries in the neighborhood before. Dreifuss said they can attract suspicious behavior.

“Well, sometimes it seems to bring undesirables. I'm not saying that all of them are, but I have noticed at times that element around.”

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