Exclusive video shows moment that causes robbery suspect to shoot himself in Hawthorne

HAWTHORNE, Calif. -- A robbery suspect inadvertently shot himself in the head as he was struck by a victim's vehicle early Wednesday morning outside a Denny's restaurant in Hawthorne, authorities said.

The incident began around 2:45 a.m. when one person robbed a group of four victims in the parking lot of the Denny's in the 13200 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, according to police.

Authorities said the suspected robber had two accomplices waiting around the corner in a getaway vehicle.

In video obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News, surveillance cameras capture the moment one of the victims runs over the gunman, as well as one of the victims running terrified inside the restaurant.

Surveillance cameras outside show the four victims leaving the restaurant and getting into a car. Then the suspect robs them. Video from inside Denny's shows one of the female victims running into the restaurant for help and panicked patrons call 911.

Outside, the suspect attempts to run toward the getaway car and the driver in the victim's car hits the gas in reverse, dragging the gunman back.

The suspect is able to regain his stride and tries to get toward the car again, which passes him by. That's when the victim's car is seen barreling toward the gunman in the parking lot, knocking him down and causing him to accidentally shoot himself.

"He's running away from the scene with a gun in his hand when the victims chased him in the car. When they struck him it launched his body up in the air and somewhere in that process, the gun in his hand fired, resulting in him getting a bullet in the head," Hawthorne police Lt. Ti Goetz said.

That suspect was transported to Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.

The owner of the restaurant, Amir Obeid, said he doesn't feel sorry for the suspect.

"I'm not going to say any prayers for the suspect because he kind of got what's coming to him, you know. He decided to rob somebody and that's what happens. You're taking a chance whenever you do something like that," he said.

The two accomplices fled the parking lot and remained at large, Hawthorne police said. A handgun was recovered at the scene.

The injured suspect was not immediately identified, and no descriptions of the other two robbers were available.
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