1 dead, 1 wounded in shootout outside pot dispensary

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SAN DIEGO — An attempted holdup at a North Park medical marijuana dispensary erupted in gunfire Friday, leaving a security guard wounded and a suspected robber dead, authorities reported.

The shootout at the shop on Ray Street occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m., according to San Diego police.

“They attempted to rob the dispensary at gunpoint,” said Lt. Manuel Del Toro.

Del Toro said the suspects walked into the store guns drawn.

“They were attempting to steal marijuana.” said Lt. Del Toro.  “They did hold up the marijuana dispensary at gunpoint and there was a shooting that went on inside of the marijuana dispensary.”

The gun battle between the suspects and a security guard.  One of the suspects died on scene and the other one fled.  The security guard was wounded and taken to the hospital.  He is in stable condition.

“I heard boom and then saw the cop car come going after them,” said Nicole Dodson.

Dodson was at home eating lunch at her apartment when she heard a loud screech and then a crashing sound.

“I came out and I saw the fence was just destroyed,” said Dodson as she showed Fox 5 the fence next door.  “The guy was parked right next to my car.  He took off down the alley.”

“We were driving down the street and I saw this guy, he just comes running,” said Kevin London.

London actually saw the suspect after he fled the dispensary.

“He had like a pretty worn duffle bag, he was running like he was in a really big hurry.  He ran past my car  and cut through the alley, quick,” said London.

Police are now searching for the suspect.  Investigators have very little to work with.  He is described as a black male driving a white sedan, possibly a Mercedes.

Police told Fox 5 the dispensary is operating illegally, but it will not affect their investigation.

Dodson said it was one of several dispensaries that have moved into her neighborhood.  She said she’s not against medical marijuana, but this type of business does bring concern.

“It’s scary because it’s a cash only business and that’s kind of why they probably targeted that place,” said Dodson.



  • guest

    Just saw on the news yesterday, the city of SD opened up applications for more "medical" pot dispensaries. So, is there going to be more of this?

    • DavePretty

      Ok, I’ll bite. Yes and No.

      Right now, the current dispensaries are being operated under loose regulations. Some even completely illegally. The new permit system is going to put more rigid regulations in place. That’s a good and bad thing.

      The good: Safer access. Tighter regulations on who’s able to purchase medications. Inspections. Fines for violations.

      The bad (kinda): Only the bigger and well funded dispensaries will be able to compete and have the income to maintain their operation. This will kill off the little guys. It’s bad because competition breeds lower prices and better products for the consumer. But it’s good because it shuts down those who aren't really qualified to maintain a business of this nature.

      • guest

        What I'm saying is the more pot dispensaries the more bad guys want to make a easy pay day by robbing these places. I don't care what you do with the pot, it's just an invitation to gangs.

    • Nicole

      These dispensaries operate on cash only, so that's the scary part and why there are armed guards. In San Francisco's Haight/Ashbury district, every other store is a dispensary. Why they don't get robbed? It's nearly impossible to have a get-away car and drive off so fast. Roads are congested and there's too many pedestrians. In San Diego, it's the opposite. This happened on Ray St (which has less foot traffic than University). The robbers were able to hang out in an alley, but they left a trail because they banged into a fence trying to speed off. They're still at large.

    • guest

      Yeah because pot stores=more robberies
      Nice logic there. Anything else you want to pull out of your butt?

    • uci812

      Yes, more of it. Sorta like banks that get robbed. And 7-11s. Sorta like any establishment that has cash.

  • Jeff

    This was in North Park so i am sure the security guards knew something was wrong when the guys were not dresses as hipsters.

    • Nicole

      North Park is a diverse neighborhood, we have all types of people that live here. Sure, more hipsters than say Mission Valley.

  • Sam

    We are all very opinionated, however this young gentleman was one of my great friends little brothers who didn't know better, and we are all grieving for the loss at this moment. How easy is it for a young kid to buy gun, and brandish a weapon at any given location to gain his or her temporary freedom? Do people realize how hard it is for an African American to live into today's society? Now that we have one of the best African American Presidents in office, it is twice as hard. There is an even greater hatred towards African American people in General because of their empowerment to stand up again the white oppressor who never called it quits. We have airports named after Nazi Citizens(Charles Lindberge) and Military aircraft runways shaped like Nazi symbols near Coronado airbase, and half of American population still think the African American people have a stronghold, stance in western America? Stop The murder, Stop the violence, Give These poor marijuana users what they are looking for and take the small loss. Unfortunately, criminals are not allowed to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation by a doctor, which should give them all the better reasons to rob these shops, not saying that it would be something I would do, but when the government cuts off your coffee supply, will you not see people rioting over it? When your government gets out of hand, would you even consider them being criminals?

    • guest

      The point is he tried to take something that did not belong to him by force. Doesn't matter what that something is. He made his choice and paid the price. I don't care what color he is, red, yellow, white, or black.

    • Bill

      Your joking right? Sorry for the lose of a family friend but society is better off because of it. The young "gentleman" your referring to walked it a dispensary with a gun, threatened to kill people, Try to take what was not his. Now your claiming it was because he was an American of African descent. It's not a race issue it's a personal responsibility issue. Your blaming everything from the weed, race, the security guard, "criminals are not allowed to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation". Your mentality does more harm to Americans of African descent then anything the "white oppressors" could ever do.

    • Dawg53

      Why don't you make some more excuses for this guy? Give the marijuana uses what they want? They did not go there for the weed, they went for the large amounts of cash kept there.

      You might want to check you facts, criminals can, have and continue to get medical recommendations. In fact you can be on probation or even in custody and have a card. You might want to brush up on SB 420.

      As for life being hard, can you tell us how hard your friend worked in school. Did he pay attention and get good grades? Did he study with a tutor after school if his grades slipped? You are right life is hard for someone no matter what race, when they don't try in school, then turn to a life a crime.

      Why didn't your friend's brother know better? Was he never taught right from wrong? Did he not know that armed robbery is illegal? You did say something that makes sense, stop the violence, stop the murder. But that won't happen when you make excuses for your friends out committing robberies. This was not murder on the security guards part, this is self defense. Although the suspect that got away will enjoy the felony murder rule. What are you doing, besides making excuses for felonies, to stop the violence?

    • DavePretty

      "…We are all very opinionated, however this young gentleman was one of my great friends little brothers who didn't know better."

      And that's where you lose the argument. There are literally 150,000 African Americans living in San Diego. While sure there are some involved with the criminal element, there are many many more who don't have to commit crimes to make a living.

      That old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child". Well with what went down, it sounds like your village needs work.

    • roger

      Sam you are one confused individual. Why didn't they just give him what he wanted ??? are you kidding me?? Why doesn't he get a job and buy it illegally as millions of other people do. You are actually a disgrace to humanity. Why do you make excuses for his IGNORANCE? He mad his decision to rob and he paid the price. If you want to blame someone blame him for his own stupidity. I was a good student in high school and several students with lower grades were awarded full scholarships simply because they were black. That didn't stop me from working my way through college. Bottom line is life is what you make it. The only way African Americans can make it easier for them to live in today's society is to realize that you should work for what you want. Not just expect that it should be "GIVEN" to them. Teach them to stop making excuses and take pride in themselves.

  • Bob

    Really Sam, really? Your stupidity and ignorance is confounding. African Americans have never had it better. Just a few decades ago they couldn't even eat in the same restaurants and now one is getting paid to eat in the White House. We may have room to grow and there are challenges for every community but Dr King would be rolling over in his grave if he could see how idiots like you and Al Sharptin and Jesse Jackson have hijacked the cause of the black community to promote this false perception of racial injustice. Everyone wants to move and you morons are they ones holding on to a past that is in the past. As for the dead robber, he got what he deserved.

  • Racks

    He got what he deserved. I actually know the family and I feel bad for them but for him I have no respect. You put your family thru this

  • Ras

    Anyone know which robbery suspect shot the security guard? The one that got away – temporally – or the one that paid the ultimate price > for a weed that would grow freely – if not for prohibition?

    Robber = 0
    Security = 0
    Prohibition +1

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