A would-be carjacker got an unwelcome surprise when the pizza deliveryman he intended to rob at gunpoint responded by shooting him six times with his own gun.
The Philadelphia driver, 39, was about to drop off an order on H Street just before 7:40 on Thursday evening when an armed 23-year-old approached him, weapon drawn, and demanded he get out of his vehicle, according to WPVI-TV.
“The driver of that car — when he saw that this male was pointing a gun at him, demanding that he get out of the vehicle — brandished his own firearm, which he was legally allowed to carry,” said Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace.
A witness to the incident, Eric Howard, stated, “I was just remodeling my kitchen and talking to my son, and he was about to come out the door, and as soon as he went to open the door, that’s when we heard the shots.”
While the victim was unharmed, the suspect was transported to an area hospital where he was listed in “extremely critical condition.”
Carjackings in the City of Brotherly Love have been on the rise in recent months.
According to a report on WHYY.org, Philadelphia police say the city is already on track to surpass last year’s carjacking totals.
“Halfway through January, the department has recorded more than 90 carjackings. The city had roughly 750 of them in 2021, nearly double the total for 2020,” the article states.
In a January 10 news conference, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw promised an anxious public, “We are truly using every resource available to combat this issue.”
According to Outlaw, both uniformed and plainclothes officers have been dispatched to patrol “carjacking hotspots,” including parts of North Philadelphia. Additionally, a task force has been set up to tackle the problem.
“The Philadelphia Police Department is actively working to identify and apprehend the individuals committing these crimes,” Outlaw said.
Perhaps most disturbing is who are the individuals who are carrying out these assaults.
It turns out, most of them are children.
“Police say most carjackings are being carried out by minors between the ages of 14 and 17. And that most of them are happening at gunpoint after someone has parked his or her car,” WHYY reported.
And according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this isn’t the first time this month that an intended victim has fought back.
On Jan. 14, Oliver Neal, a 60-year-old grandfather, was forced to shoot and wound an armed 16-year-old who tried to carjack his Pontiac.
The incident happened only hours after the Philly police held their news conference, illustrating just how dire the situation truly is.
According to Outlaw, police have arrested 150 suspects in 93 incidents.
“We recognize the fear and uncertainty these incidents bring, as the victims in these cases have touched nearly every demographic,” Outlaw said.
“While we can expect more arrests and case clearances in the future,” Outlaw added, “we recognize that these statistics are not anywhere close to where we need them to be, and work is underway to minimize these occurrences.”
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