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1 booked in Westminster watch shop robbery attempt, 1 in hospital

One of two men held in the attempted robbery of a Westminster watch shop has been booked and the other -- whom the business owner shot in the head -- remains hospitalized, police said Tuesday.

Earnie Robinson, 57, of Gardena, was booked Monday night on suspicion of armed robbery and weapons violations. His alleged accomplice, 33-year-old Harold Walker of Gardena, is expected to be booked on similar allegations when he is released from the hospital, said Westminster police Sgt. Brian Carpenter.

The two suspects, posing as customers, entered the Tick Tock watch shop at the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster’s Little Saigon on Monday afternoon, police said. Walker sat in a wheelchair, posing as a physically disabled man, said Westminster police Sgt. Cameron Knauerhaze.

Once inside, the two drew a handgun and ordered the shop’s employees and customers to the ground, Knauerhaze said.

An employee in the back of the store then came out with his own handgun, ordering the suspect to drop his gun, officials said. When the suspect didn’t, the owner fired and shot Walker in the face

Both suspects fled on foot and were quickly apprehended by police and taken to the hospital, officials said.

After speaking to witnesses, investigators were looking for a third possible suspect, a man driving a silver Honda Accord who was seen dropping the men off at the mall. No license plate information was immediately available.

Knauerhaze described the incident as "isolated," saying it was an uncommon occurrence for the shopping center.

It was a “jewelry store robbery and the owner got the drop on him. It’s not daily, but once in a while it happens,” Carpenter said.

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-- Melissa Leu and Kate Mather

Follow Melissa Leu on Twitter and Google+.

 
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