Wawa French Vanilla coffee and I have had a thing going on for years.
Yes, I love me some Wawa.
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But right now, I need Philly’s favorite convenience chain to step up and do right by one of our own, Kahlil Scott-Patterson, 25.
He’s the heroic off-duty security guard who intervened on Aug. 28 in an early-morning scuffle at the front door of the Wawa on the 1300 block of East Erie Avenue in Juniata about 4:15 a.m.
After a customer refused to abide by the store’s social distancing policy, not only did Kahlil go to the aid of the Wawa security guard, but he wound up tussling with the gunman as well. By the time it was over, Kahlil had been shot once in the chest. His brother Karell Scott-Patterson, 26, drove him to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he was admitted in critical condition. He later was transferred to Temple University Hospital.
According to his mother, Rahesha, Kahlil is being weaned off the breathing tubes, but he still has a long recuperation ahead of him.
“He’s still struggling to breathe on his own,” she said. “He’s still heavily sedated because of the pain.”
It is unclear how long it will be before Kahlil is healthy and able to rejoin his brother and business partner in the Big Fellas Security business they started two years ago.
That’s why his family established a GoFundMe account to help raise money for medical and other expenses. The crowdfunding account already has exceeded its goal of $10,000, but Kahlil is going to need a lot more than that in the months ahead, which is why Wawa needs to step up and contribute as well.
Kahlil is a hero. Most of us wouldn’t have done what he did. We would have been looking for back exits. Not Kahlil. After his years as a security guard, it was second nature for him to step forward the way he did.
“I watched the whole thing,” Karell told me on Thursday. “I saw the security guard let a couple of people in.”
He said he recognized the perpetrator from having caused trouble earlier that evening at an undisclosed establishment where the brothers had been working.
“The guy was trying to rush the line to try to get inside. And the security guy and him got into a confrontation,” Karell said. “So my brother … walked over to the door to check the situation out, to see what was going on.”
Then, a scuffle broke out.
“The gun went off, and it hit my brother,” Karell said. “By that time, I’m grabbing my gun and my brother was tussling with him and slammed him on the ground and laid on him. I put my gun on him …. That gave Kahlil enough time to snatch the guy’s gun out of his hand, and I picked my brother up and I took him straight to St. Christopher’s Hospital.”
Authorities arrested a 22-year-old man and charged him attempted murder and related crimes.
Looking back, things could have been much, much worse. Someone could have been killed. Customers might have been injured.
I reached out to Wawa to see how the privately held company planned to reward Kahlil’s heroics and got the usual corporatespeak along with this: “All of us at Wawa and in the community are hoping for his full recovery. We are monitoring this unfortunate situation and the best way to connect with the family directly.”