Would-be burglar shot by motorcycle shop owner pleads not guilty

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man who was shot after allegedly pointing a loaded shotgun at the owner of a motorcycle shop during an attempted burglary pleaded not guilty today to assault with a firearm and commercial burglary.

Christopher Lamont Peterson, 37, was ordered held without bail because he was on probation for a previous drug conviction when the alleged break-in occurred at Trophy Motorcycles in Talmadge on March 15.

Deputy District Attorney John Pro said Peterson was confronted by the store's co-owner, Isaac Heinrich, about 2:20 a.m. as the suspect tried to leave the motorcycle shop.

Pro said Heinrich had his .40-caliber handgun with him and ordered Peterson to stop, but Peterson — armed with a loaded shotgun that Heinrich kept in the store — allegedly pointed the shotgun at Heinrich.

Heinrich shot at the suspect three to four times but missed, and Peterson continued to advance toward him,  Pro said.

The store owner then shot Peterson three times in the leg, the prosecutor said.

Besides the shotgun, Peterson also had a computer and a camera from the store when he was shot, Pro said.

According to a court document, Peterson was convicted of breaking and entering in North Carolina in 1991 and 1992. He faces 14 years and eight months in prison if convicted.

A readiness conference was set for March 28 and a preliminary hearing for April 2.

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