Monday, December 22, 2008

Chandler, Arizona Jeweler Exchanges Gunfire With Robbers

Chandler, Arizona

From December 21, 2008 KNXV channel 15:
A store owner shot by a would-be robber is expected to make a full recovery following a shootout Saturday night in Chandler.

Police said two men walked into Christopher Diamonds at Chandler Boulevard and Coronado just before 7 p.m.

One had a gun and apparently tried to rob the place.

Police said Christopher Diamonds is a family run business and only three people were in the store at the time, including the owner, his wife and his son.

Another employee was outside the business.

Police said the owner, Rusty Uptain, grabbed a gun to defend his family and store.

A gun battle ensued and both Uptain and one of the suspects, 46-year-old Kevin William Murray, was shot.

Police said Uptain was shot in the face, but is expected to be okay.

Murray reportedly jumped into a stolen pick-up truck and fled the scene.

A police officer spotted the truck and chased him to the 101 and Broadway in Tempe.

That's where they said Murray died.

At about 8:15 p.m., a police dog tracked the scent of the second robber, 27-year-old Kenneth Wayne Simpson Jr.

Officers peeled out of the parking lot and caught Simpson a few blocks away near a wash.

Police said the suspects did not steal anything.

Family spokesperson Nancy Uptain told ABC 15, "My brother-in-law is an incredible marksman he's a hunter and we're very gratefully for our gun rights because with him being able to have his own protection he was able to save his family."

"These men came in and they had full intentions of killing the family and taking the jewelry," she said.

"It hit his nose the side of his nose and the corner of his eye."

Doctors are confident they are able to save not only Uptain's vision, but his eye.

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