CVS armed robbery followed by police shootout

February 14, 2011 9:04:44 PM PST
Three masked men, with at least two carrying guns, are being sought in connection with an armed robbery and subsequent shootout with police.

It was right around 8:30 p.m. when neighbors in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia say it seemed like their community was under attack.

"We were right next to it when it all happened, the reason we started running was because we thought we may get hit with a stray bullet because we were that close to everything," witness Damon Liburd said.

It turns out it was three armed thieves trying to steal pharmaceuticals and cash from the CVS on the 8500 block of Frankford Avenue.

The masked bandits were trying to escape through the back drive-thru window when police arrived.

When they started shooting the window to widen the opening, officers quickly ran down the block to find the suspects just making their way out to the back alley.

The police shouted a command and one of the thieves pointed his gun at the officers in response.

The officers then opened fire.

"We suspect, there's a good possibility one of the males in the back was shot by police," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright said.

Still, all three got away. Now, a massive police manhunt is combing through the area.

Although there were several employees and three customers inside, including a child, police say no one was injured.

Marla Meschler, a CVS employee, is glad her fellow employees weren't hurt and also, that she wasn't working tonight.

"Just by the luck of the draw, it wasn't me, but it could have happened to any one one of us," Meschler said.

The thieves apparently dropped their loot in the store and it's unclear if they got away with anything.

The robbers are described as three white males in their late 20s to early 30s. They were last seen going eastbound towards the Torresdale Avenue area.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.