An investigation was underway Tuesday morning after a security guard was shot and killed during an attempted robbery of an illegally operated medical marijuana dispensary in San Bernardino the previous night, authorities said.
Officers responded to the 2800 block of Rialto Avenue (map) after someone reported that shots had been fired inside the dispensary, a news release from the San Bernardino Police Department stated.
Two armed men had entered the business around 10 p.m. Monday night and attempted to rob the dispensary, officials said in the release.
One of the men forced his way into a back room and started shooting at the security guard, who returned fire, the release stated.
The victim was struck at least once in the gun battle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was later identified by police as 25-year-old Anthony Victor Pineda of Rowland Heights.
Investigators said one of the men had been shot. A large pool of blood was discovered outside the business and police believed the man may have been critically injured.
No description of the wanted men has been released, but both remained at large early Tuesday.
It was not immediately known if they got away with any cash or drugs from the medicinal pot dispensary.
According to San Bernardino police Lt. Rich Lawhead, people inside the business who described themselves as "volunteers" were originally uncooperative with the investigation, and that officers had to force entry into the dispensary.
"We could do our job a lot better if everybody would be cooperative with us and just give us the information," Lawhead said.
He added that initial attempts to gain access to video surveillance from inside the store proved unsuccessful.
“We’re hoping that the video gives us a lot more information," Lawhead said.
The dispensary did not have a name and it was not clear how long it had been operating.
Authorities said that these types of pot shops are illegal in the city. They have been trying to shut down 45 of them in San Bernardino, but the process to close them has been described as "slow."
Anyone with information about the shooting was asked to call San Bernardino police Detective Joshua Cunningham at 909-384-5745 or Sgt. Carl Williams at 909-693-6665.