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June 02, 2020

South Philly gun shop owner opens fire on potential looters, killing one

Investigations Shootings
Philly gun shop shooting Google/StreetView

The owner of Firing Line Inc., an indoor shooting range and gun shop in South Philly, shot and killed a man who he allegedly broke into the store on early Tuesday morning, police said.

The owner of a Pennsport gun shop shot and killed a man who allegedly broke into the store early Tuesday morning, according to multiple media reports.

The owner of Firing Line Inc., located on the 1500 block of South Front Street, told Philadelphia police that he was standing guard at the shop because someone had attempted to break in Sunday, FOX 29 reported

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Many Philadelphia businesses have been looted or vandalized since Saturday, when peaceful demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd and police brutality devolved into destruction. 

The gun shop owner was watching his surveillance camera when he saw three or four people using bolt cutters to open the gate to the property around 4 a.m., NBC10 reported. They then entered the shop through a back door. 

The owner opened fire once the group made its way upstairs, striking one man in the head as the others fled. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"One of the individuals that broke into the property pointed a handgun at him," Chief Inspector Scott Smalls told FOX 29. "And that's when the store owner fired his own weapon – striking the one perpetrator at least one time in the head and he collapsed, dropping his gun between his legs."

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Police believe a man being treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital may have been involved in incident. 

The gun store owner is cooperating with police. No charges have been filed. 

Firing Line, which also has an indoor shooting range, specializes in police armaments, tactical equipment, firearms and accessories. Its website notes it has been serving law enforcement in the Philly region since 1978.

City residents again will be subjected to a curfew beginning 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

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