Philly police shoot gun-brandishing robbery suspect

By Jeff Shields
Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Police surrounded a Rite Aid store while it was being held up last night and then wounded the shotgun-wielding robber as he walked out the front door and leveled his weapon at the officers, Chief Inspector Keith Sadler said last night.

The accused robber, identified only as a white man about 55 years old, was in stable condition at Frankford Hospital-Torresdale Campus after being shot twice in the legs, Sadler said. Four officers fired their weapons, he said.

More than 100 onlookers gathered in and around the busy Parkwood Shopping Center at Academy and Byberry Roads last night, where activity was shut down just after the shootings.

Shortly after 7 p.m. a witness, who apparently saw the gunman in the store, flagged down a passing Philadelphia highway patrol officer. Police said the officer responded immediately, saw the robber leading the manager to the back of the store at gunpoint, and took up a position at the back entrance while an off-duty officer arrived and called for backup.

There were a few employees and several customers in the store, police said. It was unclear what the gunman did in the store, or whether he knew police were waiting for him outside. Police said they were still investigating the circumstances.

The gunman walked out the automatic front doors soon after police arrived and allegedly pointed his weapon. The officers then fired at him, Sadler said. 

Copyright 2007 Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC

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