Customer shoots, kills armed robber in Philly corner store

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A shooting at a corner store near Temple University in Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon was originally believed to have involved a store employee or owner who fired shots at a would-be robber. After further investigation, police now say it was a customer inside the store who shot and killed the armed suspect.

Officials say a male suspect pulled a gun and tried to rob the store.

That’s when a customer inside the store reportedly shot the suspect twice in the abdomen.

Police originally stated the owner of the store fired the shots at the would-be robber.

The customer is licensed to carry, according to officials.

The suspect was rushed to Temple University Hospital by police, where he died from his injuries.

Officials say a second armed suspect managed to escape during this incident.

The brazen daylight robbery happened about 12:30 Wednesday afternoon when the two men strolled into the store and approached a 23-year old man who was waiting to pick up food. According to police, one of the suspects struck the 23-year old on the head with the butt of his gun, and the intended victim began to fight back.

The robber handed the gun to his accomplice at which point law enforcement sources said the customer shot the armed robber twice in the abdomen. The customer is licensed to carry a firearm, according to police sources.

… Law enforcement sources say the customer was released and is unlikely to be charged. The entire incident was captured on store surveillance that has already been turned over to investigators.

Yeah, this sounds like a pretty clear-cut case of self-defense, and unless the surveillance footage shows something dramatically different than what has been reported, I’d be shocked to see the armed citizen be charged with a crime, though I suppose if progressive D.A. Larry Krasner wants to show he’s tough on criminals he could try to make an example out of the 23-year old.

Wednesday’s defensive gun use comes less than a week after another would-be robber in Philadelphia was shot by their intended victim. Last Thursday a manager at a Dollar General store in the city shot and killed a man who threatened employees with what he claimed was a gun. The store manager is also a concealed carry holder, and no charges have been filed in that incident either.

While I hate to see anyone targeted by violent criminals, I’m glad that these individuals were able and willing to defend themselves. Philadelphia’s violent crime is only getting worse, unfortunately, and residents need to think about their own ability to protect themselves if they become a target. Last year the city recorded a record-high 529 homicides, and this year is on pace to be even worse. We are also, however, seeing a noticeable increase in the number of defensive gun uses as well.

The Action News Data Journalism team found a significant increase in defensive shootings.

In just the first three months of this year, more people have been shot in defensive shootings than in each of the last three entire years.

If defensive shootings continue at the same rate through the rest of the year, Philadelphia is on track to have more than five times as many of these incidents as last year.

And that only counts defensive gun uses where an attacker was injured or killed. We have no way of knowing how many times the presence of a gun in the hands of a law-abiding citizen led to the deescalation of a crime without a single pull of the trigger, but I think it’s safe to assume that there are even more of those cases that go unrecorded by police or the news media.

I truly wish the City of Brotherly Love would start living up to its name, but as long as city leaders refuse to get serious about addressing violent crime, the good people of Philadelphia should take the necessary steps to legally and lawfully protect themselves and their loved ones and embrace their right to keep and bear arms.