Philly delivery driver defends himself from armed carjackers

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A 21-year-old pizza delivery driver in Philadelphia is alive and well today, thanks in large part to his ability to fight back after two men tried to rob and carjack him in the city’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood late Tuesday night.


According to Philadelphia police it was just before midnight when the driver pulled up to an apartment complex in Chestnut Hill, only to be confronted by two men, at least one of whom was armed.

Police told WPVI that two masked men armed with guns forced the driver back into his vehicle. One of the men got into the driver’s backseat with him while the other got into the front seat, Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WCAU.

“He was being carjacked and robbed,” Small said.

The masked men wanted to know where the 21-year-old worked, demanded money and asked if he had any apps on his phone that he could use to get them cash, WCAU reported.

“At one point, the 21-year-old delivery man was able to get out of the vehicle and confronted one of the perpetrators who had a gun,” Small told KYW. “The 21-year-old delivery man, we know, fired at least two shots.”

One of those shots hit its mark, with police reporting that a suspect ran about 300 feet before collapsing to the ground where he was found by arriving officers. That suspect was taken to a local hospital and was in critical condition at last report, while the second suspect apparently managed to flee the scene and has yet to be taken into custody.

It appeared that there was possibly a shootout as police found evidence that the bleeding would-be robber had evidence on him that he had fired at least one shot, Small said.

Police spent the early morning hours searching the apartment complex grounds for a gun that was possibly tossed away, investigators said.

Police said the deliveryman was on the phone with his brother — who also works at the pizza shop — who heard the whole thing and rushed to the scene to help with brother.

The deliveryman had a license to carry a weapon, investigators said.

Small said that shootings are “unusual” in the neighborhood.


Well, I wouldn’t really describe this as a “shooting”. It was a carjacking and robbery that ended with a suspect shot by a legally-armed citizen exercising his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense. Those violent crimes appear to be fairly unusual for the neighborhood as well, at least based on local crime reports, but as we know, crime can and does happen everywhere.

According to NBC 10 in Philadelphia, carjackings are on the rise across the city, and just two days ago a 50-year-old man was shot and killed, apparently as he tried to stop three suspects from carjacking a friend.

The victim, identified as Michael Salerno, was shot in the head next to a double-parked car just before 11 p.m. in the 1100 block of Porter Street in South Philadelphia, Philadelphia police said.

Salerno had tried to stop three suspects from stealing his female friend’s car, FOX29 Philadelphia reported.

Philadelphia police released video and still images of the fatal encounter.

The suspects are shown pulling up behind the double-parked vehicle in a red a Kia Soul with an unknown New Jersey license plate, according to the video. One suspect can be seen approaching the driver.

The victim runs over to help his friend but is fatally shot by one of the suspects. The three suspects then flee the scene.

So far, none of the three suspects in Salerno’s murder have been taken into custody.


The 21-year-old delivery driver, thankfully, had the means to fight back against his armed assailants late Tuesday night, and isn’t expected to face any charges given the circumstances of the violent attack on his life. Hopefully he won’t lose his job based on any driver disarmament policies at his place of employment, which are sadly still a thing for some businesses, but if he does I’m sure that there’s more than one independent shop in the city that doesn’t require its employees to be unarmed and helpless while on the job.


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