15-year-old robber shot by storeowner

September 17, 2008 6:49:30 PM PDT
A San Pablo business owner, fed up with violence, says he opened fire on two armed robbers targeting his store on Tuesday afternoon. He hit and killed one of them, who was just 15-years-old. So far, police aren't identifying the shop owner.

On Wednesday morning, a small group of family members and friends placed flowers and candles in front of the shop where the 15-year-old was shot to death, in what police describe as a failed robbery attempt.

Police say two would-be robbers with sawed off shotguns entered the A and L Poster Shop on San Pablo Avenue.

"One of them leaped over the counter and the owner of the business, who had been violently robbed several times before, produced a pistol and fired at the suspect, killing him," says Mark Folsie, San Pablo Police Department.

The other suspect ran out of the shop and police have yet to find him.

The youngster who died went to Delta Continuation High School in nearby El Sobrante. He was identified as Amariae Sanders. He would have turned 16 in a week-and-a-half. His school friends came by the shop , curious to see where he died.

18-year-old Bismark Rojas says he can't believe Sanders would rob a store. What's more surprising is that Rojas says he was a good student.

"He took a reading test yesterday and he scored really high. He impressed the teacher and the teacher couldn't even congratulate him on that today," says Rojas.

Merchants we spoke with declined to go on camera, but they tell us this is a pretty safe neighborhood. Nevertheless, police say the owner of the store had been robbed at least twice in the past year and that may explain why he armed himself with a gun.

"One time he was beaten. The other time a large caliber weapon was discharged in his face, so he's been through hell," says Folsie.

Investigators say Amaraie Sanders had a police record, even as a juvenile. We're also told that authorities may rule this as an "excusable homicide" or self defense.


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