Store owners charged in West Philadelphia shooting

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Store owners charged in West Philadelphia shooting:Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 5 p.m., October 12, 2017 (WPVI)

Philadelphia police have decided to charge a 30-year-old West Philadelphia store owner with shooting a customer Wednesday night.

Investigators said the store owner told officers the customer had a gun and was trying to rob the place. Police said store video proved that was not the case.

Employees at the HK Deli at 61st and Market streets declined to talk to action news this afternoon - shortly after Philadelphia police decided to charge the 30-year-old owner of the corner spot. The trouble here began last evening around 6 p.m., when a 22-year-old man arrived at the store and intervened in an argument between the store owner's wife and another customer.

"At some point, the shooting victim walks from the store but then he throws trash from the outside basket into the store. At which time, she comes from behind the counter with a knife and she chases him away," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker.

As he was leaving, police said the 22-year-old threatened to kill the woman and her family. Then, he came back about an hour later. As he approached, police said the owner went to the door of the store brandishing a gun. The young man ran off, only to return yet again around 10 p.m.

"He actually enters the store at this point," said Walker. "The owner grabs his gun, comes from behind the counter, and starts chasing the male. The male runs out of the store and he's crossing the intersection, the owner fires one shot striking him in the hip."

Police said they understand the store owner may have been frustrated and felt threatened, but shooting an unarmed man outside the store as he's running away can't be justified.

"He has a license to carry that gun," said Walker. "Unfortunately, you can't leave your business when you have that and the person is running away. His safety is not compromised at that point."

Police said no one ever saw the shooting victim with any kind of a weapon either.

Police add that the store owner should have stayed behind the bulletproof glass and called 911.

The shooting victim is in stable condition at Penn Presbyterian.

The store owner is charged with aggravated assault and related crimes.

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