Officially, police in Philadelphia remain tight-lipped about a shooting incident at a subway station on Sunday night, but according to FOX 29 reporter Steve Keeley’s sources, the shots appear to have been fired in self-defense after “several” teenage suspects were seen attacking a man. The victim drew his gun and fired at least one shot in response, sending the assailants scrambling.
FOX 29 reports that the shooting took place in 15th Street Station in Center City, where a 51-year-old man was recently the victim of a robbery involving multiple assailants.
According to police, at about 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, a 51-year-old male, was assaulted by an unknown man on the SEPTA platform.
As can be seen in the video, the assailant grabbed the hood on the victim’s coat and dragged him down a set of stairs during the incident.
In this incident, officials said, the attacker and several other individuals assaulted the victim and took a cell phone and his money.
No arrests have been made in that case, and it’s unclear whether police believe the same group might be responsible for both incidents.
Unlike a lot of Democrat-run cities, Philly’s public transportation network known as SEPTA doesn’t prohibit concealed carry holders from bearing arms on its property, which is refreshing. And with the system’s transit police threatening to go on strike as early as today, I wouldn’t be surprised if more riders end up bearing arms of their own in the near future.
SEPTA management and the Fraternal Order of Transit Police Lodge 109 met until about 8 p.m. Sunday and had talked for several hours on Saturday in an effort to forestall a strike. The transit police officers’ contract expired in March and union members voted last month to authorize a walkout.
Members of the FOTP have said they want wages that are closer to those offered by other police departments in the region. The union argues a pay disparity has contributed to understaffing amid rider concerns about crime and antisocial behavior on transit.
“While SEPTA is disappointed that the FOTP — in the midst of negotiations being mediated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry — arbitrarily selected tomorrow as a strike deadline, we hope you will join us in encouraging FOTP leadership to remain at the bargaining table,” SEPTA CEO Leslie S. Richards said in a letter Sunday night to City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas and eight colleagues.
The transit police did get a sizeable bump in salary last year, but union officials say it’s not enough to keep officers from departing for greener pastures like Amtrak or even the Philadelphia Police Department. Meanwhile, violent crime on public transportation in the city has been surging over the past couple of years, even as ridership remains far below pre-pandemic levels.
Though cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago maintain that public transit are “sensitive places” where concealed carry can and should be banned, the fact is that violent crime is present on every one of their transportation networks, and there’s no guarantee that a police officer will be around to stop any given incident. Banning concealed carry in these locations not only prevents lawful gun owners from carrying while they’re on board a train or bus, which is bad enough, but it also stops those folks who depend on public transportation from being able to protect themselves over the course of their daily routine.
SEPTA can’t ensure the safety of its riders any more than D.C.’s Metro Transit or Chicago’s CTA, but at least its passengers have the ability to protect themselves from violent attacks if necessary. Allowing concealed carry on SEPTA hasn’t led to a “Wild West” free-for-all either. There’s no evidence that concealed carry holders have been responsible for any of the violent crimes reported by transit police, but it appears that at least one concealed carry holder used his gun to stop a violent crime from escalating any further.