The employee who fatally shot an armed man attempting to rob a Metro PCS store on Monday in Southwest Philadelphia will not face criminal charges, the District Attorney’s Office and Police Department said this week.
The employee, who has not been identified, can be seen in a store surveillance video quickly drawing his handgun and firing after the man, whose name has not been released, entered the tiny business at 7003 Elmwood Ave. clearly holding a gun and throwing a small bag on the counter.
Police said they were withholding the dead man’s name pending notification of his family.
The employee was not hurt and no one else was inside the store, police said.
The store has been hit by robbers several times in recent months, said Heather Ayres, who works across the street at a pizza shop.
The prepaid phone business was probably viewed as an easy target because only one person at a time was working inside, said Ayres, 36. The employees didn’t stick around after being victimized, she said.
“The people that worked there quit after they got robbed, and the people before that left after they got robbed,” Ayres said.
About a month ago, a new phone store employee started showing up for lunch at Hot Spot Pizza.
“Polite, very nice” was how Ayres described her new daily customer.
“Never had the impression he had a license to carry,” she added.
On Monday afternoon, he killed the would-be robber.
No one at the Metro PCS store could be reached for comment. Ayres said Friday that it hadn’t been open since the shooting.
A folding metal gate covered the front door. Outside, there were mops and a bucket with empty bottles of Clorox and Windex. More cleaning supplies were visible inside the store. The floor where the gunman was pronounced dead was wiped clean.
Metro PCS is now officially known as Metro by T-Mobile. Metro said in a statement: “We’re so sorry to hear about this tragic situation. As details are fully coming to light, we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate what happened.”
The National Rifle Association on Wednesday touted the incident on Twitter: “An armed criminal who allegedly tried to rob a mobile phone store in #Philadelphia on Monday was shot by an employee with a concealed permit in a dramatic moment captured on video.”