L.A. Now

Police ID security guard killed during gun battle at illegal pot dispensary

Security guard killed after exchanging gunfire with suspect at pot dispensary in San Bernardino

A security guard was shot to death late Monday after exchanging gunfire with two gunmen who tried to rob an illegal pot dispensary in San Bernardino, police said.

It is unclear how many rounds were exchanged between the security guard and the gunmen, who escaped. 

The drama unfolded just before 10 p.m. when the assailants forced their way into the back entrance of the dispensary in the 2800 block West Rialto Avenue before closing time, said San Bernardino Police Lt. Rich Lawhead.

After the two suspects entered the dispensary, one of the gunmen fired multiple rounds at the security guard, who returned gunfire. The guard, identified as Anthony Victor Pineda, 25, of Chino, was shot in the upper torso and died from his wounds at the scene, San Bernardino County coroner’s officials said.

When police arrived at the dispensary, they found the doors were locked. They had to break the front glass door to check on Pineda, who is alone in a back room.

Detectives found a trail of blood leading away from the business, Lawhead said, leading police to believe that Pineda shot one of the suspects during the exchange of gunfire.

Witnesses also heard one of the gunmen say that he had been shot.

The gunmen ran across a parking lot and fled.

Detectives hope to obtain video surveillance from inside the dispensary to get more details about the shooting. But because marijuana dispensaries are illegal in San Bernardino, its operators were hesitant to turn over surveillance footage, Lawhead said.

“It’s going to be a challenging investigation,” Lawhead said.

Anyone with details about the shooting is urged to call Det. Joshua Cunningham at (909) 384-5745 or Sgt. Carl Williams at (909) 693-6665.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

9:51 a.m.: This post was updated with more details about the shooting.

This post was originally posted at 6:47 a.m.

91°