Store manager

Philadelphia Variety Store Manager Recalls Terrifying Moments Employee Shot Gun Suspect

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The manager of a Philadelphia convenience store has recounted the terrifying moments of an early morning attempted robbery that ended with a suspect and a 32-year-old employee in a gunfight.

It happened around 3:50 a.m. Tuesday inside the Big A LLC variety store on the 5500 block of Torresdale Avenue in Wissinoming.

The saleswoman was sitting on a sofa behind the counter when two suspects armed with beer entered the store.

“He had a big gun,” manager Sammy Aloubehi said.

Surveillance video shows a man in a blue cap with a gun at the corner of the counter. Seconds later, the second man walks into the store, also with a gun.

“He was pointing the gun at his face like…don’t move,” Aloubehi said.

It is unclear at this time whether either of the suspects or the employee fired first, but police and the manager said there was an exchange of gunfire.

“As soon as they went behind the counter and pointed the gun at the employee, that’s when the employee was able to pull out his own gun, I don’t know who fired first. But there was clearly a shootout between the two,” Philadelphia said. Chief Inspector of Police Scott Small said.

One of the suspects shot the clerk four times in the upper thigh.

As the store’s dog, Sport, pounced on a suspect, the saleswoman, who was on the couch, raised her arm. She fired a gun that’s kept in the store.

One of the suspects fired back.

The store clerk and manager told police she punched one of the suspects, causing him to drop his gun.

“We believe the reason one of the perpetrators dropped his gun at the scene is that he may have been hit by gunfire,” Small said.

Police say the men fled the store and were last seen running west on Cheltenham Avenue.

The store worker was taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital in critical condition.

“She was a brave young woman involved in a shootout with two gunmen. She held her own. We hope the best for her,” Small said.

Police say the suspects fled. A person matching the description of one of the suspects quickly showed up at Temple Hospital, police said.

“About 45 minutes after this incident, we were notified that a victim presented to Temple Hospital. This victim was shot multiple times,” Small said.

Aloubehi says he has a great relationship with the neighborhood and still can’t believe this happened.

“We’re like a family, like a hub,” he said.

The second suspect is still at large.

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