Shot twice stopping Hemet O’Reilly’s robbery, victim describes traumatizing ordeal
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 16, 1:45 p.m., With victim interview, additional details.
Originally Published: Friday, June 4, 11:35 a.m.
HEMET, Calif. — A Hemet man who was shot twice while intervening during an armed robbery at a Hemet O’Reilly’s Auto Parts earlier this month is speaking out about the traumatizing ordeal that nearly left him dead. Although he was shot while attempting to wrestle a handgun from one of the two handgun-wielding men, his intervention was successful in warding off the attempted armed robbery.
The victim, who had just celebrated his 40th birthday and was planning on taking his boat to the river the next day, had gone to the store with his step son to buy wax for his boat and a few other items for the next day’s river excursion.
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City of Hemet police and fire personnel were dispatched to the business, located at 849 W. Florida Avenue, just before the store was scheduled to close at 10 p.m. after the victim’s step son called 911 and reported the shooting and attempted robbery.
In the chaotic moments after the call was dispatched, with the first officers arriving at the scene “within 45 seconds” according to the shooting victim, an officer in an unmarked SUV was involved in a collision with another vehicle. The officer had been responding to the scene with his lights and sirens activated when the crash happened, at the very intersection where the business is located.
A Hemet News camera crew and reporter Eddie George, who had responded to the scene to document the shooting aftermath and subsequent investigation heard the collision while filming, capturing the loud boom during his recording. Rushing to the scene of the crash, he and others arrived before smoke and dirt kicked up by the crash had begun to clear.
As a Riverside County Sheriff Department helicopter circled over head, multiple witnesses and good Samaritans were seen running to the aid of the officer and other driver, who were the sole occupants of the vehicles. Both were found shaken, sore and bruised, but neither was seriously injured.
Responding emergency personnel are seen treating Ryan Schug, after he was shot twice while intervening in an armed robbery attempt at the Hemet O’Reilly’s, where both his step son and step daughter work. Eddie George/Hemet News photo
Responding officials found the victim had sustained two entry and two exit gunshot wounds, in the area of his left shoulder and left bicep. He was transported to Riverside University Health System’s trauma center in Moreno Valley, where he was treated and later released.
Both the officer and other driver involved in the collision were evaluated and treated by paramedics at the scene and neither required further immediate medical treatment. Both wrecked and heavily-damaged vehicles were later towed from the location.
The victim, Ryan Schug, recently spoke with Hemet News’s Eddie George about the incident that he is just beginning to recover from, both physically and emotionally.
During the interview, (which can be viewed below), Ryan explained that he and his step son Nate had decided to make the fateful, last minute trip to the store to buy a few items in preparation for their planned trip the next day. He also explained that Nate knew the store would still be open because both he and his sister work at the location.
While Nate went into the store to make the purchases they had gone to the store for and as Ryan was standing just outside the store talking with one of the business’s employees, Ryan suddenly saw two handgun-wielding men with masks approaching from the rear of the business. One of the masked gunmen grabbed the employee from behind, while the other grabbed him; before ordering the pair back into the business.
As they were being forced at gunpoint into the store, Ryan said because his step son and step daughter both work at that store, he knew that there were no cameras inside the business.
Not wanting to become involved in a potentially deadly fight inside the store, “like an animal in a cage”, at that moment Ryan decided to take action, grabbing the would-be robber’s gun and attempting to disarm him.
In the ensuing struggle for control of the gun, the suspect managed to knock Ryan to the ground and fired two rounds into his body.
After firing the first two rounds, and as Ryan begged for his life – not wanting to be murdered in front of his step son, the suspect pulled the trigger again. Luckily for Ryan, the man’s gun jammed and both men fled from the scene on foot.
Ryan and other victims have described the men as being black males in their twenties, who were wearing dark hoodies and masks.
An officer who was responding to the scene was involved in a minor injury traffic collision with another vehicle, at the very intersection where the O’Reilly’s is located. Eddie George/Hemet News photo
Thankful to still be alive, Ryan said he was glad he was able to stop the attempted robbery, even though the shooting ruined his planned river trip.
“I still wanted to go the next day and while at the hospital I told my girl we could still go to the river, but she told me I couldn’t,” he said with a laugh; adding that as it turned out he was in too much pain to go anyways.
Because Ryan and his father Rod own a fencing company, Schug Fencing in Homeland, and are self employed, he does not have medical insurance to cover his hospital costs and other expenses related to his ongoing recovery, leading his sister-in-law, Kristina Schug, to create a GoFundMe account to help raise funds needed to pay for ever-increasing expenses related to the shooting.
“Ryan is still recovering and will be starting physical therapy next week. Unfortunately with that he will be out of work for another 6 weeks to 2 months if everything goes as planned,” Kristina explained in the fundraiser. “His medical bills are coming in and they are more than what we thought and unfortunately that doesn’t include his physical therapy.”
Even though the fundraiser quickly reached and surpassed it’s originally stated goal of $5,000, in a follow up Kristina explained, “We have had family, friends and strangers reach out to us to ask if we are still taking donations and I wanted to let everyone know that we still are.”
“We don’t know how long Ryan will be out of work and we want to make sure he’s able to focus on healing and not worrying about the bills coming in,” she explained.
Saying he didn’t want to become involved in a potentially deadly fight inside the store, “like an animal in a cage”, and not wanting the two armed men to get into the business where his step son was completing a transaction, Ryan made the heroic decision to take action, grabbing the would-be robber’s gun and attempting to disarm him.
Kristina went on to say that in spite of witnessing the shooting inside the very store where he and his sister work, Nate is doing well and recovering from the shock of seeing his step dad nearly die at the hands of a man who didn’t think twice about attempting to murder the man that he looks up to and calls dad.
“He was right there by Ryan’s side and even though he was in shock with what he just saw he stepped in to help with anything he could and started comforting everyone making sure they were all okay,” she explained.
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“We are so blessed and so so very thankful for every single person who has helped us so far,” she continued. “We wanted to truly thank each and everyone one of you who have reached out to the family and offered a helping hand. For the prayers, for the donations, for the love and support for an amazing man is truly meaningful.”
“Please keep the prayers going for Ryan, they are helping,” she added.
Hemet PD’s investigation into the shooting and attempted robbery is continuing and officials have not announced any arrests, or any other details, related to the case.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.