Canola (defendant) and three others were in the process of robbing a jewelry store when the store owner and an employee engaged in a physical skirmish with one of the four robbers in an attempt to resist the robbery. Another robber began shooting and the store owner returned fire. Both the owner and co-felon, Lloredo, were fatally shot in the exchange. Canola and two others were indicted on two counts of murder, one count of robbery, and one count of armed robbery. The murder counts were based on the deaths of both Lloredo and the store owner. Canola was found guilty and sentenced to concurrent terms of life imprisonment. The appellate division affirmed. The Supreme Court of New Jersey granted petition for certification to review.