By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say the owner of a Northeast Philadelphia deli shot and killed a robbery suspect during an exchange of gunfire.
It happened around 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Anna’s Deli along the 4400 block of Princeton Avenue in the Tacony section of the city.
Police say a 19-year-old man, armed with a handgun, ran into the deli demanding money, he stuck his gun in the face of the 53-year-old woman behind the counter and began pulling cash out of the register. The frightened woman screamed, which alerted her 54-year-old husband, who was in the back of the store.
Authorities say the suspect fired at least one shot at the store owner, who then returned fire with his 9mm beretta handgun. The suspect was shot once in the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“[He] picked the wrong place,” said Tacony resident Stephen Noble. “I never thought she would get faced with this situation.”
Initial indications were the shooting was justified. Homicide detectives were interviewing the couple, and investigators were expected to review surveillance video inside the store to help make a final determination.
Neighbors say the store owners installed the surveillance cameras after they were robbed once before.
“I’m glad that neither one of them got hurt,” Tacony resident Kristin Zornek said, “and they had to do what they had to do and they just protected themselves. I’m glad they are okay.”
No customers were inside the store at the time of the shooting.
Police did not immediately release the name of the suspect killed. Investigators believe he parked his SUV just feet away from the store.
The store owner was not injured.