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Doughnut Store Owner Shoots Alleged Seven-Time Bandit

May 5, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A doughnut shop owner pulled a gun he had bought the day before and shot a man who was trying to rob him for the seventh time in two weeks, police said Monday.

The critically wounded would-be robber fled to a nearby church and collapsed in a front pew during a mass Sunday morning, police said.

No charges are being sought against store owner Sim Tan Tah, 37, who was acting in self-defense when he shot Ronald Ledet on Sunday, Detective Carl Thompson said.

Ledet, 25, was in critical condition Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with gunshot wounds, said hospital spokesman Ron Wise.

Police said he walked into the Western Donut shop in Koreatown, drew back his jacket to reveal a pistol tucked in his pants and said ″Do you want to die?″

Tah, who came to this country from Cambodia 10 years ago, first handed over money from the cash register, police said. Then he pulled out a .38-caliber pistol he had bought the day before and fired the gun’s five rounds.

Ledet was hit four times, once in the face, said Sgt. Tony Kulik.

Tah then took Ledet’s gun and shot him once more, he said.

″He simply had had enough,″ Kulik said. ″He knew the man as soon as he walked in the door,″ Kulik said. ″This guy was stretching his luck coming here seven times. This time his luck ran out.″

A clerk at Tah’s store said he was on vacation and could not be reached for comment Monday.

When Tah went to the back of the shop to call police, the man staggered to his car and drove to St. Brendan’s Catholic Church, where he made his way up the center aisle, leaving a trail of blood, and collapsed in a front pew.

″He was groaning,″ said the Rev. Richard Loomis, the associate pastor. ″We didn’t have a clear picture of what had happened. All we knew was that there was a man in the church who was bleeding profusely and who was asking for help and some water.″

Officers who arrived while two doctors from the congregation were giving the man first aid reported him saying he wanted to confess, Kulik said. But Loomis said the man had made no confession.

Police had been patrolling the shop in case of more trouble, Kulik said. Two officers were on their way there at the time of the alleged robbery to tell Tah they were watching out for him.

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