Off-duty police lieutenant shot during altercation in South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia lieutenant who had just left work was shot in the leg during an altercation at a CVS Pharmacy involving a man reported missing hours earlier.

Lieutenant Robert Friel of the 3rd District is undergoing surgery at Jefferson University Hospital and is expected to be OK, authorities said Friday.

According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, authorities received a 911 call concerning a missing suicidal man on the 800 block of Cross Street around 10 p.m. Thursday.

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An off-duty lieutenant was shot inside a South Philadelphia CVS store.

According to the caller, the man had two hand guns and one high-powered assault rifle. The caller also stated that the man had been using drugs.

The caller told police the man was driving a gray Acura.

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Outlaw said, at 6:45 a.m. Friday, a 3rd District officer noticed the vehicle near the CVS store on the 1400 block of South 10th Street near Passyunk Avenue.

The officer also saw the man who had been reported missing.

At the same time, the off-duty lieutenant saw the officer encountering the man.

"All persons entered the CVS and a struggled ensued," Outlaw said.

During the struggle, the man fired a gun striking the lieutenant in the left leg.

Outlaw said the man also gained possession of the officer's service weapon and fired one shot which hit the floor.

The man was eventually subdued and placed into custody without further incident.

Investigators and SWAT units arrived on the scene and focused their attention on the store and the Acura.

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Corey Davis reports on the shooting of an off-duty police officer in South Philadelphia

Friel, a 28-year veteran of the police department, was taken by police to Jefferson University Hospital. The 48-year-old husband and father of three is in good spirits, authorities said.

Commissioner Outlaw, Mayor Jim Kenney, and Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby soon arrived at Jefferson to visit the officer.

No other injuries were reported. No charges have been filed, but the incident remains under investigation.

Lt. Robert Friel's brother Joseph was killed in the line of duty in the 1990s when he was struck by a drunk driver in Roxborough, Outlaw said.

This incident adds to the violent night in Philadelphia that saw 12 people shot. Three of the victims were killed.
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