HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – It was another case of fighting back against criminals in South Florida. And this time, the consequences could have been deadly for a young man who police say tried to rob a fruit vendor at gunpoint.

Police say that unidentified man was shot multiple times by a friend of the vendor while trying to rob the vendor of cash at his neighborhood stand at 7200 West 29th Lane.

He was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition, police said. They were not sure of his age but neighbors said he appeared to be about 19 years old.

The son and the daughter of the 68-year-old man who shot the would-be robber told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that their father acted in self defense and Hialeah Police are trying to determine if  that was true.

“What we have is a white Latin male who appeared at the fruit stand and demanded cash. He had a gun. Then a 3rd party pulled out his gun and shot the subject multiple times,” said Hialeah Police Detective Eddie Rodriguez.

“That subject was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition and we are talking to both the fruit vendor and the man who shot him to see if this was a case of self defense,” said Rodriguez.

“Everyone has the right to defend themselves,” said Rodriguez. “We don’t know if that was the case here but people have that right.”

“Here he tries to take cash and look at what happened,” said Rodriguez.

“How much cash could he have had?” asked neighbor Deylin Moreno. “He couldn’t have had much money. I know him. He’s a very sweet man. He’s always out there doing his job, nothing bad. You get what you get when you try to steal something.”

The son of the man who shot the would-be robber said his father fired in self defense.

“My dad called me and told me I thought I killed a man that was going to assault the vendor. I produced a gun and I had to shoot him.”

“I imagine that he did what he did in self defense,” said Beatriz Rodriguez, the daughter of the man claiming self defense.

“If not, he would not be alive now,” she told D’Oench. “He has a license to carry a gun.”

Police have also not identified the fruit vendor or the man who fired the weapon.




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