At least two business owners in Philadelphia defended themselves against armed robbers this weekend in separate incidents that left one suspect dead and the other with non-life threatening injuries.
ABC6 reports a would-be robber was shot and killed on Saturday, after violating the city’s stay-at-home order and, you know, the laws against robbing people.
The shooting happened just before 4:30 p.m. at the Star Wear store in the 2700 block of Germantown Avenue.Police said the man was shot at least five times by an employee while he trying to rob the store.
The man was taken to the hospital and died a short time later.
According to Fox29, another would-be robber suffered a gunshot wound after trying to hold up a restaurant in the city’s Wissinoming neighborhood over the weekend.
Authorities say a 16-year-old is in stable condition after he was shot by a pizza shop owner during an attempted robbery.
According to police, the incident happened on the 5800 block of Torresdale Avenue just after 10:30 p.m.
The teen allegedly tried to rob the store at gunpoint when the owner shot him once in the top of the left hand.
Police say the shop owner is legally authorized to carry a firearm.
Unfortunately, while crime is down in many cities at the moment, that doesn’t mean that it has stopped completely, and thankfully both of these store owners were able to protect themselves from the violent criminals intent on robbing them of their hard-earned money and possibly their lives.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that after police commissioner Danielle Outlaw ordered a temporary stop to arrests for narcotics offenses, the city’s drug markets are thriving.
At Hope Park in Kensington, the men dealing drugs along the chain-link fence wore hospital masks.
A short walk away, near the Somerset Street El stop, the blocks were crowded with streams of young people in addiction — many of whom live in the mini-encampments lining Kensington Avenue.
And over on Allegheny Avenue, the Rev. Liam Murphy watched as a man directed buyers down narrow Weymouth Street, barking at them to stay six feet away from him.
“There he is in dealing in the business of death — and trying to save himself from it,” the priest said.
As the coronavirus pandemic has coursed through Philadelphia, the drug markets in Kensington haven’t slowed — they’ve simply adapted. And residents, already accustomed to living in the heart of the city’s drug trade and the violence that accompanies it, fear that authorities have virtually halted drug enforcement, leaving corners crowded with dealers who don’t even bother to hide because they don’t think they’ll end up in jail.
Sadly, these dealers are probably correct. The Inquirer notes that since Outlaw ordered the change in arrest procedures, a total of 12 people have been arrested on charges of either possessing or selling drugs. In the first two weeks of March, before Outlaw’s order was given, the city arrested more than 400 individuals for the same crime.
If criminals feel emboldened by the police response, or lack thereof, we’re unfortunately going to see more crimes like this. I understand the argument for not wanting jails to be overcrowded during the coronavirus pandemic in order to limit its spread, but for the good people in some of Philly’s worst neighborhoods, the cure may indeed be worse than the disease.