Authorities say the suspects scaled a wall and got in through a second floor bathroom window.
However, what they didn't count on was the 63-year-old homeowner, who lives on the second floor with his family, to actually fight back.
"I heard the three shots, I was sitting in my room watching TV," said neighbor Brian Corona.
Nearby residents heard those gunshots around 1:00 Sunday morning.
Police say that is when the armed homeowner confronted two burglars, got into a scuffle with the men, and fired shots at them.
One intruder escaped but officers found the second man dead on the roof from a gunshot wound.
"In a situation like that you got to do what you got to do. I guess people are looking out for easy money, it's unsafe no matter where you go," said Chan Chenh.
Police haven't released names but Action News has learned the homeowner is Lee Heng, who also owns the jewelry store on the first floor. It's believed that's why the man, who neighbors say is Cambodian American, was targeted.
Chenh's mother lives on the same street in the largely Asian American section of South Philadelphia.
He says even though it appears the thieves were after the jeweler's cash and valuables, he's still worried about his mother's safety.
"Now I have to keep on calling her, making sure she's okay, making sure she doesn't come out, it kind of limits her from going outside," said Chenh.
Investigators haven't released a good description of the second intruder who got away. He remains on the loose.
The shooting is still under investigation but at this point it does not look like the homeowner will face any charges.