A 14-year-old boy shot a would-be robber in the face Thursday after the man attacked the boy’s father at a pizza shop in Philadelphia, police say.
The events unfolded just before 10 p.m. on Thursday night at Bold Pizza. A man walked into the shop intending to rob it, police said, forcibly reaching over the counter attempting to steal money from the register.
A pizza shop employee attempted to stop the man when the attempted robber put his hands around the employee’s neck. The employee’s son, a 14-year-old boy, grabbed a gun, legally owned by the employee, from behind a counter and shot the attempted robber in the face, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“There was money on the floor and there was also some broken glass inside the store, and there was also a large amount of blood,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said, according to WPVI.
The would-be robber left the pizza shop after the shooting, and police tracked him, following a trail of blood, to a nearby subway station. Officers found the suspect bleeding from his face in the station. Authorities took the man to Jefferson Hospital where he was placed in critical condition.
“From following the trail of blood, we also found some cash in the subway where the victim was found,” Small said.
Residents who lived nearby the pizza shop expressed support for the 14-year-old’s actions while expressing remorse that they were necessary.
“I think most people would do that in that situation to protect someone they love and they’re being threatened so violently,” Nina Adams told WPVI.
“I am very proud and its kind of sad that a 14-year-old had to shoot the suspect, but it was quick thinking and I’m glad they were able to catch the person so fast,” Raina Harris said.
The suspect was one of a group of three men who earlier Thursday night had robbed a CVS nearby the pizza shop. Police are still looking for the two others involved in the CVS robbery, but said that security footage from the pharmacy showed a man matching the description of the would-be pizza shop robber, according to NBC Philadelphia.
The violence in Philadelphia comes as the city nears a record-high for murders in 2021. Philadelphia’s Democratic mayor has pushed stricter gun control laws to curb the jump in homicides. As The Daily Wire reported:
During a press conference discussing the most recent incident Wednesday, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney lamented the city’s skyrocketing homicide rate. “I’m personally heartbroken and outraged that we lost 500 Philadelphians, including many of our children and teenagers to needless violence this year,” Kenney said. “I never stop thinking about the victims and their families and the incredible loss these senseless deaths leave behind.”
499 people have been killed so far this year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That number is a 13% increase from the same point in 2020, which ended with 499 murders. The city is on track to surpass the record set during the crack cocaine epidemic of 1990 and to possibly reach the highest number since 1960, which the Philadelphia Police Department said is as far back as their statistics go.
“The volume of guns that are in circulation in our communities is at a record-high,” Kenney said at the press conference, calling for more gun restrictions. “[Crime guns] join a sea of illegal and legal guns that are accessible in the heat of the moment, turning what could have stayed an argument into a homicide.”
“The Pennsylvania General Assembly must allow us to enact reasonable controls on guns in our city. Until this happens, we will continue to work tirelessly in response to the crisis,” he added.