The owner of The Firing Line gun store in Philadelphia is cooperating with police investigators after shooting an intruder during a confrontation early Tuesday morning.
Officers said when they arrived at the store they found a man on the second floor with a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene
Investigators said the gun shop owner told them he was staking out his store following an earlier burglary attempt. He said he watched the security screen show three or four men use wire cutters to break through the gate and enter the store.
The owner said he pointed his gun at the man inside the store and fired, striking him in the head. The two to three other people ran from the scene.
Gun stores have become an increasing target of rioters and looters. In Pleasant Grove, Alabama, police say at least 12 people broke into a local gun shop on Tuesday morning.
Lt. Danny Reid says the burglary happened around 3:20 a.m. when a vehicle was used to pulled the front door of Pleasant Grove Gun Supply off the hinges. He says 12-13 people then ran inside and took everything they could.
Lt. Reid says from start to finish the crime has 2 minutes and 50 seconds. He says the suspects were inside the store for only 10-15 seconds.
“The door came off and there was a flood of individuals,” Lt. Reid said.
In Orangeburg, South Carolina, authorities say suspects used a stolen car to ram their way inside a gun shop early Monday morning.
The alarm at Woody’s Pawn and Jewelry, located at 898 Russell Street, activated at around 2:30 a.m., owner Chan Holman said.
He and his wife arrived at the store to find a black Chrysler Sebring had been driven through a wall and into the store. The vehicle was stolen from Martin’s Auto Electric last Wednesday.
Part of a wall and merchandise were destroyed. A preliminary estimate of the damage is $15,000.
Dozens of firearms were stolen from a St. Louis-area gun and pawn shop on Sunday.
A burglar alarm at 1:10 a.m. alerted St. Louis County police who dispatched officers to Southside Pawn and Jewelry, 8101 Gravois Road. A window on the west side of the building had been shattered, and chunks of concrete lay on the ground. But if the entry was a little crude, the rest of the heft was surprising in its coordination.
Police say as many as ten people in at least six cars, all working in concert, unloaded 34 semi-automatic weapons — 32 handguns and two rifles — from the sprawling pawn shop before escaping.
We’ve already seen a spike in new gun owners over the past few months, but news like this will likely drive many more Americans to purchase a firearm for self-defense. Back in Philadelphia, Channel 6 spoke to several people waiting to purchase a gun at Founding Fathers Outfitters in suburban Montgomery County, including one man who was also the target of would-be gun thieves.
In the words of Sal Salhiah of North Philadelphia, “If somebody walks into my house, he’s done. That’s the only thing I can say.”
He says Sunday night’s crowds did break into his neighbor’s property.
Salhiah has a little girl at home.
“My daughter is sleeping upstairs in the next room. It’s not about watching. Anything that you see on the TV is a mess but when you see it in real life, that’s scary,” he says.
A man named John, who works in private security, tells Action News after the last two days he’s bulking up his arsenal.
“It’s definitely because of what I witnessed the last couple days, the more the better,” he says.
The owner says his guns, meant for law-abiding citizens, almost fell into the wrong hands two nights ago.
“A group of looters decided to park down the street and then tried to bash in our front door. Unfortunately for them, we have special glass,” said John.
I think it would be a good idea at the moment for gun stores to keep employees, friends, family, or even trusted customers on-hand throughout the overnight hours when possible to guard the shop and try to prevent these types of smash-and-grab robberies. It’s clear that gun stores are quickly becoming a target for looters, and police in many jurisdictions are so overwhelmed with the riots that even a reported burglary in progress can’t guarantee a quick response. As has been made repeatedly clear over the past week, it’s up to us to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our businesses.