The customer who shot and killed a would-be robber and critically wounded his accomplice late Tuesday at a pizza shop in a Bucks County strip mall won't be charged, District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub announced Wednesday.
In "what must have been a terrifying sight to behold," he said, Shawn Rose, 24, and his brother, Justin, 22, entered the shop just after closing time wearing masks and surgical gloves, announced a robbery, and pistol-whipped the only customer.
The customer, a 35-year-old man whom authorities did not identify, pulled out a .45-caliber pistol when Shawn Rose turned away and shot him once in the torso, killing him. He then shot Justin Rose in a shoulder and the throat.
Justin Rose remained in critical condition Wednesday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. No charges have been filed against him and the investigation is ongoing, Weintraub said.
The customer saved his own life and the lives of the two employees in Porfirio's Pizza & Pasta II in Levittown, Weintraub said. He had a recently expired concealed-carry permit and no criminal record. Weintraub said he should have renewed the permit but he would not be charged with a violation because of the circumstances.
"He used that gun only as he needed to, to save his own life and that of the intended victim," Weintraub said. But, he added, asking citizens not to use violence, "I don't want to create . . . a precedent for vigilante justice and lawlessness."
Later, police discovered that the Roses' weapons were airsoft guns with the identifying orange safety tips removed to make them look like pistols.
The incident was caught by a security camera, but authorities would not release the footage.
It was about 10 p.m. Tuesday when the Rose brothers entered Porfirio's. The customer was waiting for a to-go order.
"We were already closed, but we leave the door open in case anybody comes," Gilmer Porfirio, who owns the shop with his brother, said Wednesday. "We know all the people here."
Porfirio and his brother opened the restaurant, their second, in the strip mall about 31/2 years ago, choosing the location because "this town has always been nice, quiet, good people," he said.
Porfirio was outside when the robbery attempt occurred. His brother was inside, and came running to get him after the customer fired shots. They called the police, and the customer trained his gun on the robbers until police arrived, the district attorney said.
Now, Porfirio is waiting for things to get back to normal, he said, appearing tired as he stood outside the restaurant as it was cleaned Wednesday.
"It's a nice neighborhood. We're going to keep it this same way," he said.
The pizzeria was closed Wednesday but, Porfirio said, "tomorrow we're going to be back working like nothing happened."