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Torrance jewelry store owner fatally shoots alleged robber

A Torrance jewelry store owner Tuesday shot and killed a man suspected of trying to rob his store, police said.

The owner of Leilani's Jewelers, at 18099 Prairie Ave., shot the suspected robber just before noon, Sgt. Paul Kranke, a spokesman for the Torrance Police Department, said. The man barged into the business with a gun, but the owner had his own gun and opened fire, Kranke said. 

Police found a gun at the scene that they believe belonged to the dead man, who had no identification information on him, Kranke said. 

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The owner, who has not been named by authorities, called police after shooting the man and has been cooperating with the investigation, Kranke said. 

Kranke called the attempted robbery a "crime of opportunity." He said the store owner was not injured. 

Calls to the jewelry store by The Times were not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Though the store owner has not been named by police, The Daily Breeze reported that Tad Tanino "has run the business for more than 30 years."

His daughter, Leilani Tanino, told the newspaper that she had learned about the shooting after a friend saw the Daily Breeze article on Facebook. 

Her father was with detectives when she talked to him by phone. 

"He said, 'I'm not hurt ... I'm OK,' " the Daily Breeze reported the daughter as saying. "He's probably quite a bit shaken up. My heart was pounding out of my chest."

Garfield Estes, a friend of the owner, told KTLA that the owner was "a really nice guy, a nice, soft-spoken guy. But when push comes to shove, he'll take care of himself."

Investigators are trying to find surveillance video and witnesses, and urged anyone with information to contact police at (310) 618-5570. 

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

5:05 p.m.:  This article was updated with information from Torrance police Sgt. Paul Kranke.

This article was originally posted at 4:29 p.m.

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