Update: Two Men Shot During Attempted Robbery

A man told police he shot two armed robbery suspects in self-defense Friday night at Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine in Vista.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
A man shot two suspects in self-defense Friday night during an attempted armed robbery at a Vista restaurant, a sheriff's official reported.

The man who called 911 said the attempted armed robbery occurred about 9:38 p.m. at Uncle Tony's Italian Cuisine, located at 770 Sycamore Ave. in Vista, when two men entered the restaurant armed with guns.

"He had retrieved his own handgun and shot the suspects in self-defense," Sgt. Jay Pavlenko, of the Vista Sheriff's Station, said in a released statement.

The man told authorities he fired eight shots from his handgun at the suspects while they were inside the restaurant, and believed he hit both of them in the upper body.

The suspects fled the restaurant on foot through the back door. Responding sheriff's deputies established a perimeter, searched the area with ASTREA and a Valley Center Sheriff's canine unit, but the suspects were not immediately located.

Two men with gunshot wounds arrived in the Tri-City Hospital emergency room just after midnight, according to Pavlenko. Vista detectives interviewed the men at the hospital, who said they had been shot while walking near John Landis Park in Oceanside.

Pavlenko said neither man could provide a suspect description or an exact location of the alleged shooting, and a crime scene was not located at the park.

"The injuries sustained by the men are gunshot wounds consistent with the description of the [reporting party] at the restaurant," Pavlenko added.

The injuries the suspects suffered are not believed to be life threatening.

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

The investigation was on-going.

-City News Service contributed to this report.


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