PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A 25-year-old off-duty security guard was shot Friday morning at a Philadelphia Wawa after an argument about social distancing escalated into a physical altercation, police said.
Philadelphia police say the shooting happened at a Wawa in the 1300 block of E. Erie Avenue in Philadelphia's Juniata section at about 4:45 a.m.
Police said the incident started as an argument between a Wawa security guard and the suspect after the suspect was told he could not enter the business because it was at capacity.
A second off-duty security guard, who authorities say worked at a local club, stepped in to help and got into a physical struggle with the suspect.
The off-duty security guard, identified by family members as Khalil Patterson, was shot once in the chest, police said.
He was taken to nearby St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, where he is listed in critical condition.
"We're just praying for him to pull through because he's in surgery right now," said Kim Thomas, Patterson's aunt. "I feel like he was doing the right thing."
Family members describe Patterson as a father, and someone who is always willing to jump in and help others.
"Over social distancing, that's something that could be talked out. You don't have to put a gun up to anybody," said Makayla Thomas, Patterson's cousin.
One bullet was recovered at the scene, police said.
Witnesses said the suspect and an accomplice seemed intoxicated when they showed up to the Wawa.
The suspect left the scene in an Acura and is believed to have been wearing a white shirt. Authorities are currently reviewing surveillance video of the crime.