Photo by Cliff Albert

It was shortly before 12:30 p.m. when two men, tried to rob a medical marijuana dispensary in the 3800 block of Ray Street near 30th and University in the heart of North Park.

San Diego police say an armed security guard exchanged gunfire with one of the men. The man was shot in the exchange and died at the scene. The security guard was shot and underwent surgery and at last report was in stable condition.

The second man got away and police were continuing a search for him who is believed to have driven off in a late model white sedan. He was described by police as a black male in his 20's.

It was not immediately clear whether the marijuana dispensary was legally operating or was waiting to begin operation.  Business owners nearby said the pot shop appeared there about one week earlier. Just this week, the city of San Diego started accepting applications to operate medical marijuana shops under a new policy.

Jodie Russo, owner of Le Wax Boutique -- located next door to the dispensary -- told KOGO News a the scene that she heard three gun shots before people began to run for cover.  

"I was shaking pretty good,” Russo said. “Yeah, running around with my sandwich in one hand, trying to lock all the doors, and gather all the clients together. It was pretty surreal."