An armed robber in Northeast Philadelphia needed more than prayers when he when he attacked a pastor’s family late Thursday night.
Police say the 48-year-old pastor and his 38-year-old wife, along with their 12-year-old son, were returning from a concert around 11 p.m. Thursday on the 1000 block of Pratt Street. That’s when a 66-year-old man with a rifle approached them near the parking lot of the Saint James Lutheran Church and demanded the pastor’s wallet.
“And I turned like I was going to get my wallet, but I was stalling. And he hit me in the head with the gun. He swung it like a baseball bat. This is the first time I actually thought I’d die,” said Pastor Robert Cook.
But the robber surely wasn’t expecting what happened next.
“And everything was like lightning for a minute. And then I heard my wife saying, drop the gun, drop the gun. I’m like ‘she’s got her gun!’ He turns towards her, and I said, ‘Shoot him! Shoot him!’ …and she shot him,” said Pastor Cook.
The pastor’s wife finally took her shot when the armed robber refused to drop his gun.
“Once he backed off from my husband and my son, it might have been a foot, two feet or something like that, but he still had the gun in his hand, he wouldn’t drop it,” said Stephanie Cook, wife. “As long as he had that gun in his hand, I knew he was a threat.”
Her shot hit it’s target, but Pastor Cook grabbed his wife’s gun and pursued the assailant, causing the armed robber to drop his weapon and flee the scene.
But if you think this sinful suspect’s actions were deplorable, wait till you hear what he did next.
“He started telling people that I was the robber and I shot him, so people started coming out after me, and I kept the gun on his face the whole time in case he did something,” said Pastor Cook.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said, “The suspect was able to make an unusual escape by jumping on running boards of a moving vehicle that happened to be traveling east.”
Police located the suspect at a nearby hospital and his weapon at the scene – a nail gun that was made to look like a firearm.