One Suspect Killed in Coin Shop Shootout

Accomplice at large; store employees unhurt

A shootout erupted during an armed robbery attempt at a North Park coin shop Friday, leaving one of the two suspects mortally wounded, while the other escaped with his accomplice's handgun, according to San Diego police.

Lt. Terry McManus told reporters that the exchange of gunfire began at about 9:15 a.m. inside the Old Coin Shop at 2425 El Cajon Blvd., where two employees had buzzed the suspects -- described as African-American men in their twenties -- through a security door.

McManus said the wounded suspect, 25-year-old Michael Anthony Watkins, was hit in the left leg and buttocks, collapsed in the parking lot outside the shop, and died at 9:54 a.m. at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

He said investigators believe the suspects arrived in a car found nearby in the parking lot.

Neither of the shop's employees was injured, and it was not immediately clear whether both were armed and fired shots at the suspects.

Witnesses told police that the suspect who escaped fled through an alleyway to Arizona Street heading south.

Officers later found a handgun and articles of clothing in an alley behind the 4200 Block of Hamilton Avenue.

McManus said detectives are trying to determine whether the incident was recorded by a surveillance video system.

About three hours later, a distraught woman ran toward police at the cordoned-off crime scene sobbing and screaming "That's my baby!  That's my baby!"

Relatives and friends joined her and demanded that officers, who kept them at bay, confirm the name of the man who was killed.
 They shouted at reporters and news photographers not to get closer, and eventually retreated from the yellow tape to gather in front of a nearby business.     

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