Two armed men in masks charged at Vince Ricci just as he was walking to his front door, one pointing a handgun at his chest. Video shows Ricci dropping his keys and a to-go drink and, in seconds, pulling a handgun from his waist and shooting as the men ran away.
In interviews and videos, he said he wasn’t just trying to protect himself but also his wife and 5-month-old daughter, who were inside the house. Now the 37-year-old says his concealed weapon permit has been suspended, making him vulnerable and unable to protect his family.
In short order, Ricci became a poster child for 2nd Amendment advocates and conservative figures. On Friday, he appeared on Fox News‘ “The Ingraham Angle.” On Saturday, he was featured in a video for the National Rifle Assn. in which he criticizes California Democratic elected figures including Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón and “leftist gun grabbers.”
Gascón and California have been common targets of criticism for conservative pundits, with claims of increased crime and violence, even though statistics show violent crime has declined citywide compared with last year.
One Texas lawmaker suggested, on social media, that Ricci find a real estate agent and move to Texas.
“They would rather leave me out there to dry and let my family become a statistic,” Ricci said in the NRA video, which has been viewed more than 60,000 times.
What’s unclear is why Ricci’s concealed carry weapon permit, also known as a CCW, was suspended in the first place.
According to the LAPD — which stressed on social media that the department had neither issued nor revoked Ricci’s permit — the attempted robbery occurred at about 7:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Plymouth Boulevard.
That’s when one of two individuals in dark clothing and masks ran toward him as he stood at his front door and pointed a gun. Ricci quickly armed himself and, according to home security video, shot at the fleeing suspect at least six times.
Ricci was not injured, and police said it was unclear whether the assailants were injured from the gunfire. The two people who jumped over a wall into Ricci’s home, and a third man believed to be a driver, are still at large, according to an LAPD news release of the incident.
In an emailed statement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Ricci’s permit, which the department issued, had been suspended but added that the department had been in contact with him and his family about permit protocols.
“There are avenues for Mr. Ricci to re-apply for his permit,” the statement reads. “The CCW permit may be immediately reinstated as long as the permit holder has also followed all required CCW policies (i.e. proper notifications, use of properly documented weapon, etc.).”
The statement does not give a specific reason why the permit was suspended, or when, only that “the Sheriff’s Department must follow the DOJ parameters in accordance with the law.”
“We recognize that this incident was extremely traumatic and startling for the Ricci family, and we hope the individuals responsible for this crime are arrested and held accountable,” the statement from the Sheriff’s Department reads.
Ricci did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In his video for the NRA, Ricci also does not specify a reason, only that, “as a result of that night, the California government has temporarily suspended my ability to conceal carry.”
On Friday, Ricci was interviewed by Fox News conservative commentator Laura Ingraham but did not answer why the permit was suspended.
Instead, Colin Noir, a gun rights activist and a prominent and popular commentator for the NRA, stepped in instead.
“What’s the reason?” Ingraham asked.
“I mean, I think it’s pretty blatant what the reason is,” Noir said. “California has had a notorious reputation for being anti-gun and being anti- anybody carrying a firearm unless you’re part of the government somehow.”
Also on Fox News, Ricci was quoted as saying he was told the permit was revoked because of him “yelling” at LAPD officers who were investigating the robbery and shooting three days after it happened.
Neither the Sheriff’s Department nor an LAPD spokesperson responded to The Times’ questions regarding Ricci’s allegation that the permit was revoked because he yelled or otherwise criticized the investigation.
In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that added new limitations around carrying firearms in public. For example, according to the bill, people legally carrying a firearm must carry the permit, not impede an officer in their duty, and must display the license and the listed firearm to police “for the purpose of inspecting the firearm.”
On Fox News, Ricci said he has one handgun, a Glock, registered as his concealed carry weapon, but he never thought he’d have to use it.
“I acquired it the right way, they granted me the right to carry, now they’re stripping me with the men at large that were looking for me,” he said. “The sheriff’s attempt now at coming after me is petty.”