Good Samaritan recounts fighting off armed robbers at Vallejo restaurant

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- A dinner night out turned bloody when three gunmen attempted to rob a restaurant in Vallejo this past weekend.

A good Samaritan was injured while fighting off the suspects.

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With a cast on his left hand, Tom Wiggins is now recovering at home from a gunshot wound that sent him to the hospital for days.

"It came from the palm side, so there was a lot of powder burn on the palm of my hand," said Tom Wiggins of his injury.

The Navy veteran had just finished having dinner with his wife and friends at the China Wok restaurant Sunday in downtown Vallejo when they heard a woman yell.

"She ran and started screaming 'get out, get out, everybody get down,'" recalled Tom's wife, Susan Wiggins.

Three masked gunmen had just walked in, demanding money from customers.

"I'm standing there with my wallet and my money in my hands and then he reached over and grabbed it. I just wanted it back," said Tom.

Turns out, the suspects messed with the wrong guy.

Tom confronted one of them.

"I remember feeling his face or hair against my fist but not knowing if I was hitting him hard enough to do any real damage," added Tom.

Tom was shot attempting to take the gunman's weapon.

Witness cell phone video shows him on a stretcher afterward. Tom is credited with stopping the robbers from hurting others.

"I think he was a genuine hero," said Susan. "But at the same time, I just wanted to sock him because he could have been killed, it could have been so much worse."

Tom says he was just protecting his property. On Wednesday, police returned Tom's wallet after finding it in El Cerrito. The wallet had been stripped of all the cash and Tom's driver license.

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"I got away lucky, I'm just glad I was able to make the kid think about what he's doing, I hope," said Tom, referring to the young suspect.

Vallejo Police are utilizing surveillance pictures from inside the restaurant to track down the suspects.

Anyone with information on who they might be should call police.
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