Madera pharmacy owners survive shooting, 1 arrested

MADERA, Calif.

The shooting happened inside the pharmacy on Almond and Emily Way around 6:30 pm.

The pharmacy owner Bryan Lee said he left the back door of his store unlocked for a customer stopping by after business hours. Shortly after the customer left, Lee said two men in ski-masks barged in through the back door and started shooting.

The mother and son said they ducked behind the counter as bullets kept flying. One of them hit the mother in the leg. "It was not a robbery so much as an execution," Lee said. "It was an attempted assassination, they didn't make any demands, they simply came in, reached over, and it was basically shooting us almost in the back of the head.They shot my mother and almost shot me, I was just surrounded by holes."

Lee grabbed a gun and started shooting at one of the two suspects.

Police Chief Steve Frazier said he had information that the suspect was shot in the face, in the torso, and then once in the leg.

Frazier said the suspect, 31-year-old Aquilla Bailey, fell to the floor, and then managed to run out of the store and down the block before collapsing. Bailey later died at the hospital.Officers spent the day searching for the second suspect and piecing together a possible motive.

"The information we've developed is that the pharmacy was targeted probably specifically for the drugs on hand there, we don't have any information that the owner was specifically targeted at this point," Frazier said.

This wasn't the first time the pharmacy near highway 99 has been hit. Lee said he was able to stop two other attempted robberies in the 15 years he's owned the business, but this was the first time he felt he and his mother might die.

"I thought yesterday was the last day for both us, and luckily it didn't turn out that way," Lee said.

Lee and his mother Sophia both returned to work less than 24 hours after the shooting.

Authorities said the suspect who died was a known gang member from Fresno.Officers were searching the Fresno area for the other suspect and hope to make an arrest very soon. The second suspect was not armed but will still face murder charges.

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