Robbery turned deadly in central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two men are dead after robbing the Smoke N Vape Smoke Shop on Blackstone and Cambridge in Central Fresno on Friday.

Fresno Police say at around 9:45 p.m., three masked men armed with guns walked into 'Smoke N Vape', demanding money.

As the suspects were leaving, the owner of the shop arrived and confronted the robbers.

Two of the suspects were shot and killed.

The Fresno County Sheriff's office identified them as 22-year-old Chris Casas and 18-year-old Jesus Gonzalez.

Authorities haven't released any details about the third suspect they are looking for.

Police have also not yet said if the business owner may face any charges.

The smoke shop's doors were closed on Saturday, but friends were still stopping by after hearing the owner was involved in a shooting on Friday night.

Friends did not want to go on camera but say the business owner did have a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit.

Action News reached out to Robert Simpson at The Range and Police Science Institute, where CCW classes are taught. He said that Americans do have the right to protect themselves, especially when someone shows intent to harm.

"Whether it's a club, a knife, a screwdriver, something that can cause death or great bodily injury, the threat is there. You've given the verbal commands, you've told them, 'Back away, back away'. Once in their mind the threshold has been crossed then they have to take the appropriate action to protect themselves." said Simpson.

This can all happen within seconds.

Simpson added that business owners, just like homeowners, do not need a permit to have a firearm on their property and just like permit holders, they do have the ability to protect themselves.
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