Lawsuit against Fresno Firearms after robbery and death of elderly man

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New details in a civil lawsuit against a Fresno gun store after an elderly man delivering coffee was knocked down and killed during a robbery late last year. (KFSN)

New details in a civil lawsuit against a Fresno gun store after an elderly man delivering coffee was knocked down and killed during a robbery late last year.

The robbery happened last December at Fresno Firearms on Blackstone near Sierra. Two masked robbers got away with several guns during the holdup that killed George Sheklian.

The owner of Fresno Firearms had a lot to say during a recent deposition. The family of George Sheklian says this is not about the money, but more about the gun store changing the way they do business.

One stitch at a time, Arsen Sheklian is continuing the family business his father started decades ago.

Arsen said, "Everyday, I got this picture here so I could say good morning to him and I always feel he's watching over me."

The pile of shoes to fix is bigger than ever and coming to work is still bittersweet.

"Oh boy, it's still tough," added Arsen.

George Sheklian was delivering coffee to his neighbor at a gun store when police say he was fatally injured by robbers rushing to get away. Now his son, is suing the owner of Fresno Firearms for not taking proper security measures to protect her customers. But Arsen doesn't stand to collect much money. Action News learned the gun store did not have any insurance at the time of the deadly robbery. James Waterman is representing Arsen in a lawsuit against Marylyn Panek, the gun store owner. He believes Panek's bold response to the robbers made the violent crime even worse.

Waterman said, "We also learned at the time of the robbery she was daring the robber to shoot her in the head and talking about something like insurance for her daughters that her daughters would receive."

When Panek was asked, "Do you feel you have a duty to insure the safety of the customers in your shop?" Her response was, "no." she later agreed customers were entering at their own risk.

Calls to Panek's attorney, Greg Mason were not returned Thursday. Police say the murder remains unsolved. But two guns stolen in the robbery have been recovered, one in Sacramento, the other in Fresno. Officers say they are on the right track and just need some more time.

Mark Salazar with the Fresno Police Department said, "We just had a briefing this morning on the case and we're working it 24-7."

Fresno Firearms has relocated. The owner did say in the deposition that she has insurance now, because her new landlord requires it.



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