Philly clerk shot by armed robbers uses her own gun to shoot back

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A convenience store clerk in Philadelphia’s Wissinoming neighborhood is in critical condition after being shot by one of two men who robbed the store early Tuesday morning, but according to authorities the robbers didn’t get away unscathed. As it turns out, the clerk had a gun of her own, and fired back after she was wounded.

A total of seven shots were fired at the scene, police say.

The employee and the store manager told police she struck one of the suspects causing him to drop his gun.

“We believe that the reason one of the perpetrators dropped his weapon on the scene is that he may have been struck by gunfire,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott said.

The store clerk was taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital in critical condition.

“She was a brave, young woman involved in a shootout with two males that were armed with guns. She stood her ground. We’re hoping for the best for her,” Small said.

According to police, about 45 minutes after the attempted robbery, a man showed up at a local hospital seeking treatment for a gunshot wound. As of this writing police haven’t been able to get eyewitness confirmation that this is the same man who robbed and shot the clerk, but that could happen later today.

As for the woman herself, here’s hoping she makes a speedy recovery from her injuries, and thank goodness she was able to protect herself and the store manager, who was also present when the robbery occurred.

By the way, if it seems like we’ve been covering more defensive gun uses out of Philadelphia than normal over the past few weeks, you’re right, but it’s not by design. I don’t know that more DGUs are actually taking place in the city, but there’ve been a striking number of incidents that have garnered local news coverage, from the Lyft driver who shot and wounded his attackers to the 14-year old who shot at man assaulting his mom in the family’s pizza joint.

I’d like to think the increasing number of defensive gun uses reported by the Philadelphia press is indicative of more people taking their right to self-defense seriously. Last year was the worst in city history in terms of the number of homicides, and while city leaders have done their best to try to curtail legal gun ownership (even shuttering the Philadelphia PD’s gun permit unit for months back in 2020), clearly they haven’t been able to curb the desire for personal defense on the part of residents.

Philadelphia shut down the Gun Permit Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department in March during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when only essential business was permitted and reopened in July. Appointments were backlogged through 2022 at the time the lawsuit was filed in November in response to a second shutdown of the office due to a Covid-19 outbreak in its own office.

Philadelphia had claimed that keeping gun owners who wanted to carry a firearm in self-defense in limbo for well over a year didn’t violate their Second Amendment rights because “the rapid processing of a firearms license application for public carrying during a public health emergency is not a right protected under the Second Amendment,” but rather than try out that novel theory during a trial, the city eventually settled a lawsuit filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition in April of last year. In doing so, Philadelphia agreed to several reforms to speed up the application process and ensure that residents can receive their license to carry in a reasonable time frame.

We don’t know if those reforms had an impact on the woman who was able to shoot back at her attackers, but I’m positive that there are residents who are legally armed today who would still be waiting to submit their application if it weren’t for Philly being sued over its unconscionable delays. Hopefully the city is through playing games with the Second Amendment rights of residents, because those rights are more important than ever in the City of Brotherly Love.