Fort Lauderdale Jeweler Shoots Two Armed Robbers

A gun battle erupted at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., jewelry store Wednesday leaving two armed robbers critically injured with life threatening wounds, according to media reports.

A police spokeswoman said it is unlikely that Hugo Villalta, owner of Bentley’s Jewelers, whose gun is licensed, will face any charges, the Miami Herald reports.

Under Florida law, citizens are allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves or others if someone is in danger of death or great bodily harm, the newspaper reports. The state’s new ”Stand Your Ground” law also says that citizens do not have a duty to try and retreat before using deadly force.

Villalta, 43, battled the two thieves Wednesday shortly after 11 a.m. with his wife, Rosario, by his side, the newspaper reports.

The two men entered pretending to be customers and shots were fired from both sides, reports South Florida television news station NBC6. They were buzzed in by Villalta.

The Villaltas, including their son, who was in the back of the store at the time and called 911, are ”upset” but were not injured, police reportedly said.

The first gunman, with a gunshot wound between the eyes, was found lying with his gun still in his hand, the newspaper reports. The unidentified gunman was brain-dead.

The second gunman, who also was not identified Wednesday, was shot in the chest and torso, the newspaper reports. He was able to get out of the store and to his car where he later crashed into three cars, one of which was occupied.

The owner of the occupied car called 911, and within minutes police captured him, the newspaper reports. Police were looking for man’s gun as of Wednesday.

Neither of the gunmen has been charged, the newspaper reports. The entire crime scene was captured on the security cameras inside the store.

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