Suspect in custody for shooting at Philadelphia Wawa that followed argument about social distancing

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Saturday, August 29, 2020
Security guard shot at Philly Wawa after argument about social distancing: Police
A 25-year-old off-duty security guard was shot at a Philadelphia Wawa after an argument about social distancing escalated into a physical altercation.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A suspect is in custody for the shooting at a Wawa store in Philadelphia that stemmed from an argument about social distancing.

The 22-year-old man was taken into custody on Friday night, police said. He is expected to be charged with attempted murder and related offenses.

Police say his name will be released once formal charges are filed.

The shooting happened around 4:45 a.m. Friday at the store in the 1300 block of E. Erie Avenue in the city's Juniata section.

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 the hospital 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.