Three of the four men suspected in the robbery of a Norco liquor store in 2022 during which the 80-year-old owner opened fire — prompting one intruder to memorably shout “He shot my arm off!” — each pleaded guilty to six felony charges on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and were immediately sentenced.
Davon Anthony Broadus, 24, and Justin Kyle Johnson, 22, both of Inglewood; and Jamar Elijah Williams, 26, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery, carrying a loaded stolen firearm, possession of an assault weapon and two counts of receiving stolen property. Charges of assault with an assault weapon and cruelty to an elder were dropped.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gary Polk sentenced them to five years in custody. All then received a little more than 2 years credit for time served — more than 400 days in actual custody that by law is doubled to achieve a total credit.
It was unclear whether this was a plea to the court or was done in cooperation with the District Attorney’s Office; that office could not be reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon.
Rasheed DaShawn Lee Belvin, 23, of South Los Angeles, one of the two men who entered Norco Market & Liquor on Sixth Street, was the suspected robber who was shot. His conspirators drove him to a hospital, where all were arrested and both of Belvin’s arms were intact.
The judge on Tuesday had denied a motion by Belvin’s attorney to have his case diverted to Mental Health Court, where charges could have been dropped after treatment.
The store owner, Craig Cope, did not live to see Wednesday’s convictions. He died from complications of a stroke on Dec. 27.
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The attempted robbery happened at about 2:47 a.m. on July 31. Cope, who was doing paperwork, watched on surveillance video as a car rolled up occupied by four people wearing masks and gloves and carrying guns.
Two people entered, including one carrying a rifle who pointed it at Cope. The store owner armed himself with a shotgun that he kept behind the counter.
“He pointed the gun directly at me,” Cope would later say. “It was him or me.”
Cope fired one shot.
“He shot my arm off!” one suspect is heard repeating on surveillance video.
Cope’s actions were celebrated in Horsetown USA and made headlines around the country.
T-shirts and sweatshirts that read “Don’t Mess With Norco — We’ll Shoot Your Arm Off” sold briskly. Sheriff Chad Bianco, who called Cope to praise him for protecting himself, was among the customers. Cope received half the profits, about $5,000.
A man with tears in his eyes gave Cope a gift of a box of shotgun shells.