A bullet hole, shattered glass, strewn money, and a dead body were the visible remains of an apparent robbery gone awry Monday afternoon in North Philadelphia.
Police said an employee of the Super Pro shoe store, at 22d Street and Indiana Avenue in Swampoodle, fatally shot a man who entered shortly before 1 p.m. Police said the man told the store employee he wanted to buy a pair of sneakers, but then brandished the handle of a gun and demanded money from the register.
According to Lt. Raymond Evers, a police spokesman, the store employee gave the man money from the register and a "struggle" ensued.
Evers said the store employee then fired at the man, striking him at least one time in the torso.
Police would not release the name of the store employee or the dead man. The owner of the store could not be reached for comment Monday night.
The glass front door also bore a large bullet hole surrounded by cracks, and the adjacent plate-glass window was in shards. Visible just inside the door was about $35 in $1 and $5 bills, strewn about the floor. Displays of sneakers were also askew.
The alleged robber was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital. The gun, the handle of which he displayed, was a BB gun, according to Evers.
Several passersby attempted to peer in but were shooed away by police, who had marked the corner with yellow tape.
Among those concerned about the incident was Sakeenah Tremble, 29, who asked anxiously if the owner had been injured and voiced relief when she learned he had not.
"I just wanted to make sure everything was fine," said Tremble, who said she and her family had bought shoes at the store since she was 5. She said the owners were a husband and wife who "watched me grow up."
"It's a rough neighborhood," said Tremble, "but we've never known anything like this."
A man who was walking along 22d Street about 4 p.m. took a different view. "That's how it is here," he said. "You've got to protect yourself."
Evers said detectives are investigating. He said the District Attorney's Office would determine whether the shooting was a justifiable homicide.