For the second time in as many weeks, a Philadelphia citizen licensed to carry a gun shot a would-be thief, police said Tuesday.
The 8:15 a.m. shooting in the 5800 block of Cobbs Creek Parkway happened when a neighborhood resident discovered three men trying to steal his car or its catalytic converter, police said.
The owner stepped out of his front door and fired at least one shot at the three men, who tried to flee in a gray Honda Accord but ended up crashing into the side of a yellow Radnor Township school bus. Medics transported the wounded man to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after 9 a.m.
Relatives who gathered at the crime scene, crying and embracing one another, said the shooting victim’s name was Satario Natividad, 51. The two other men who were with him fled on foot and remained at large.
Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said that homicide detectives are heading up the investigation and that it is too early to make a decision on if the shooting was justified or not. They did not identify the car owner.
“This does not appear to be a carjacking,” Vanore said. “It appeared to be that they were either attempting to take the car or parts of the car and they were confronted.”
Natividad’s relatives and friends loudly denied an initial statement from police that Natividad and his accomplices had been attempting a carjacking. They called on the Philadelphia Police Department to charge the gunman, who was being questioned at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
“How could it be a carjacking when no one was in the car?” Sherell Natividad, the dead man’s wife, said through tears. “They shot him. They killed him.”
Tanya Dunn, a lifelong friend of Natividad’s, said the shooting could not have been self-defense because Natividad and his accomplices were fleeing when the car owner began shooting.
“He did not have to come out and shoot him,” she said. “It was a car! All he had to do is call the police. Once someone turns their back, they are no longer a threat. He still has his car, but we do not have [Natividad]. It’s a material thing. They need to charge him. He’s in his doorway. You don’t shoot someone out in the street over a car.”
Vanore said that inside the Honda, which sustained heavy front-end damage from colliding with the bus, evidence of a criminal enterprise was found. “Just from vision you could see catalytic converters, some tools, and what appears to be a firearm,” he said.
Carjackings are also on the rise, the Police Department said. In 2021, 757 people were carjacked in Philadelphia, compared with 404 in 2020, the department said.
On Thursday, Oliver Neal, a 60-year-old grandfather, shot a 16-year-old boy who pulled a gun on him and fired several shots during an attempted carjacking in West Mount Airy. Neal, who has a license to carry a gun, was not charged. His would-be carjacker remains hospitalized.