By Greg Argos


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A would-be robber was shot and killed by an employee at a local cell phone store Monday afternoon. The tense encounter that lasted less than 12 seconds was captured on surveillance video.

Police say the suspect was there to rob the place and he likely didn’t know the only employee inside was armed. Eyewitness News obtained surveillance video of the incident.

“Out of nowhere, I heard about 10 gunshots,” an eyewitness said.

Reports of gunfire came on the initial call. Police rushed to the corner of 70th and Elmwood Streets in Southwest Philadelphia.

“When they arrived on scene, they were met by an employee of MetroPCS,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Scott Drissel said.

It turns out that shooting happened inside the MetroPCS  cell phone store.

“The guy that works at MetroPCS run out of the store with a gun in his hand,” said the witness.

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Around 4:10 p.m. Monday, a man wearing a hoodie could be seen in surveillance video entering the store with a handgun. He tosses what the store owner says is a bag toward the sole employee, telling him to fill it with phones.

Little did the would-be robber know that the employee was armed.

“He discharged his firearm at the robbery suspect numerous times, striking him,” Drissel said.

The suspect died and Drissel says the employee, whose identity Eyewitness News is concealing, is legally allowed to carry.

Investigators say the store has been robbed at least two other times within the past year — such a common occurrence that police regularly visit the store.

“There is police logbook in there. Officers will typically go inside the store and meet with the employees there and sign the logbook,” Drissel said.

On Monday evening, technicians with the Medical Examiner’s Office, homicide detectives and crime scene analysts combed through the store.

Those who live, shop and work nearby, and some who even know the employee, say they’re glad he is OK.

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“He comes in here and buys food. I bought my phone from there. He’s a really good guy,” a witness said.

“It’s a shame that it had to happen, but thank God, you know what I mean, he didn’t get hurt,” one woman said.

The store employee has not been charged with anything, though the investigation continues.

Police have not released the identity of the would-be robber who was killed.