Gunmen strike 3 stores, exchange fire with police

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA - October 3, 2010

Police have identified one of the three suspects as 20-year-old Joseph Brock of Northeast Philadelphia.

Brock is wanted for the robberies of three stores and a police shooting overnight.

He is described as 5'9", 130 pounds with brown hair, grey eyes, and he was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the number 77 embroidered on left front side.

Along with the surveillance video, authorities say they have some good leads in the search for Brock and two other suspects, they believed knocked over three different businesses, two convenience stores and a gas station, overnight.

It was at the 7-11 store in the 9300 block of Old Bustleton Avenue where police confronted one of the gunmen as he came out of the store. That's when, police say, the gunman, believed to be Brock, opened fire.

A shootout occurred. The officers weren't injured, but the suspects took off and got away.

Mike Custalow had just gotten home from work a few blocks away when he heard the chaos and said he saw several cops "flying down" the street.

Brock and two accomplices fled on foot and got away, police say. A search of the area produced a gun in an empty office building nearby and the suspects' vehicle, which was abandoned not far from the 7-11.

But the shootout was only the finish to a busy night for the trio. Police believe the three also robbed a Wawa on the 100 block of Roosevelt Boulevard leaving with an undetermined amount of cash.

The three reportedly also struck the Lukoil at Comly Road and Roosevelt Boulevard. That's where video shows the man police say is Joseph Brock pointing a gun at the clerk and taking with him a cash drawer of $400.

"It's just getting worse. They don't want to work. They just want to take what other people have and it's just ridiculous," said Oxford Circle resident Crystal Wilson. "You know? These young kids, they're killing each other off, they're taking everybody with them; I really don't know what's going on."

Neighbors say this is typically a quiet neighborhood and that they are surprised by reports of gunfire.

Police say Brock has 4 prior arrests of DUI, arson, burglary and theft. He is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Northeast Detectives are continuing to investigate.

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