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Off-Duty Cop Fatally Shoots Armed Robber While Dining At Fast-Food Restaurant

San Pablo, CA – An off-duty police sergeant eating a meal at a fast-food restaurant over the weekend jumped into action when an armed suspect barged into the business and tried to rob the cashier at gunpoint, according to police.

The incident occurred at the Nation’s Giant Hamburgers restaurant located in the 16300-block of San Pablo Avenue at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 12, KPIX reported.

Investigators said an off-duty University of California-Berkeley police sergeant was dining at the restaurant when the gunman, 29-year-old Amanuel Moreno, entered the establishment.

Moreno, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, headed over to the cashier and ordered her to open the register, the terrified employee later told KTVU.

“[He] had a gun pointed at us,” she explained. “I was the one talking to him. He was talking to me. If anyone were to get shot, I would have been the first one…”

Just then, someone in the back of the restaurant yelled at the gunman to drop his weapon, the employee recounted.

“I ran and all I heard was a gunshot,” she told KTVU. “I don’t know how many shots. I just heard one.”

Police said the off-duty sergeant fired a single round, fatally wounding the suspect, KPIX reported.

Moreno was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to KTVU.

The supervisor at the fast-food restaurant said there were at least three employees working at the time of the incident.

The cashier who was staring down the barrel of Moreno’s weapon said she’s thankful the off-duty police sergeant intervened.

“I’ll just say thank you because he was there,” she told KTVU. “He didn’t know if he was going to get shot. He didn’t know if he could have died at that moment. He just wanted to protect us.”

The investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting remains ongoing.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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