Tension filled the air as Police Officer Dave Klayman moved quietly through the North Philly mom-and-pop shop with his gun drawn.
It was late Thursday evening, and Klayman had just followed a shooting suspect into the store, on the corner of Lee and Tioga streets.
When the veteran 25th District cop called out to the suspect, the young man ducked down behind one of the aisles and started to fumble with something, Klayman said.
Luck was on Klayman's side.
The suspect, Vincent Hollimon, 19, was clutching a TEC-9 semiautomatic handgun that had just jammed, police said.
The teen gave up when he was cornered by Klayman.
Hollimon was charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting and critically wounding a 31-year-old man in the back on Ella Street near Westmoreland over a drug dispute at about 11 p.m. Thursday, police said.
The teen also will face charges that include aggravated assault, robbery and possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, police said.
"I didn't think about it until afterwards," Klayman said, "but if his gun had been functioning, there probably would have been a shoot-out."
Capt. Chris Werner, commander of the 25th District, which is headquartered on Whitaker Avenue near Luzerne Street, commended Klayman for thinking quickly on his feet.
Werner said Klayman spotted Hollimon a couple of blocks away from where the shooting occurred and decided to follow him when Hollimon abruptly darted into the corner store.
"That's just good, heads-up police work," Werner said, adding that Klayman also had collared a murder suspect a week ago.
Klayman said Hollimon yelled out "Yeah, right," when he ordered the teen to come over to him in the store.
"I couldn't see his hands, so I didn't know what he had on him," said Klayman, a former sergeant in the Marine Corps.
Hollimon was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was positively identified by his victim, Werner said.
According to court records, Hollimon is due in court next month to face robbery, theft and assault charges dating back to an incident that occurred on Feb. 15. *