SACRAMENTO - Three people were in the O'Reilly Auto Parts in North Highlands Thursday night when an armed man tried to rob the store. Marc Zhuchenko was shot after stabbing the suspect, and later died from his injuries.
His mother, Svetlana Zhuchenko, believes Marc's actions cost him his life, but may have saved the lives of his co-workers.
"He loved people. He always wants to help them," Svetlana Zhuchenko said.
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She said the 22-year-old's propensity to help others and to protect them probably cost him his life. His mother said he was "bright, nice and hardworking." But, he also didn't tolerate any wrong-doing.
"He can be aggressive against the crime," Svetlana said.
On Thursday, a robber walked into the store at 4423 Elkhorn Blvd. around 7:15 p.m. According to the sheriff's department, Michael Eugene Addson, 26, directed employees into a back room. Marc tried to fight off the man and was able to stab him with a knife. Deputies said that's when Addson shot Marc.
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"He tried to protect [his colleagues] and ended up starting a fight with [the suspect,]" Svetlana said.
Marc later died at the hospital.
According to his family, Marc had a bright future. He was interested in fitness education and office management. He just received a degree at American River College and was taking more classes in hopes of becoming a paramedic. He worked two jobs, one at ARC and one at the O'Reilly Auto Parts store.
Svetlana said her son was concerned because the store had been robbed three times before.
After the last robbery she said Marc told her, "'Mom, robbery yesterday and co-workers really shaken. Mom there are a lot of customers who are not shoppers.'"
Marc's aunt Zhanna Gurov said her nephew couldn't take it anymore.
"He said it's dangerous. 'I have to defend myself and my coworker. I have to do something,'" Gurov said.
His friend Vinson Saldivari said Marc lost his life because he took a stand.
"He was kind of an intimidating guy to some people, so he would kind of use his stature to kind of try to stop," Saldivari said. "In my eyes, he's pretty much a hero who tried to save his co-workers and those that were in the store. Wherever you are, miss you, man."