Storeowner shoots would-be robber in W. Phila.

WEST PHILADELPHIA - October 12, 2012

It was just after 8:00 a.m. when the suspect, armed with a gun, entered and attempted to rob the 54 & Wyalusing Food Market, located on the 5400 block of Wyalusing Avenue.

Catherine Nunez, the daughter of the storeowner, tells Action News, "The guy just pointed a gun at my mom and demanded for the money and then once he saw that my dad was coming from the back he started shooting, and then my dad started shooting back at him."

Nunez said the armed gunman, who wore a scarf to conceal his face, stole $40 from the market before the shootout occurred. The suspect was then shot in the leg and fled from the store.

"He got shot, I think in the leg. Then he started running out the store, and my dad started running after him. But (the suspect) couldn't, he didn't shot (sic) back. And then he started, he just laid in the back of the bushes over there," explained Nunez.

Neighbor Charlie Farron had a slightly different account of what happened, telling us, "Then I see Poppy over there say, 'Don't move.' Then the boy turned around and he shot him. And then Poppy went over there and said, 'Drop the gun.'"

Neighbors described a chaotic scene. Police confirmed that the storeowner shot inside the store, but are still investigating who shot outside on the street.

Among the chaos kids heading to school got caught in the crossfire. One little girl did not want to be identified, but says a stranger pulled her to safety.

She tells us, "(I am) terrified. I don't even want to live in this neighborhood anymore. That's how terrorized I feel."

Police say the storeowner and his family are currently being questioned by investigators and say they are fully cooperating.

Meanwhile, the suspect remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Nunez's daughter says her 39-year-old dad is a former Dominican Republic police officer.

Police say he acted in self defense and had a permit to carry his semi automatic gun. The District Attorney will review the case.

Police are not releasing the suspect's name, but say that he is known to police and has a criminal history.

Police have not charged him yet.

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