PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have released surveillance video showing four suspects wanted in the shooting of a block captain in the West Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.
The shooting occurred just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Pomona Street and Germantown Avenue.
Authorities said the four males were stealing a catalytic converter from a van.
Police told Action News on the day of the shooting that the owner of the van heard a noise that sounded like a power saw.
"The owner of the van who I spoke to said he heard the noise, the metal and cutting noise," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The owner and his neighbor, the 52-year-old block captain, approached the scene.
Police said as the suspects were fleeing the area they were confronted by the owner and the block captain.
That's when police say one of the male suspects pulled out a semi-automatic gun with a laser sight and shot the block captain once in the chest.
Police rushed him to Einstein Medical Center and into surgery. He was listed as critical, but later stabilized.
"Our block captain has been diligently doing the work for this community for years and I don't think anyone has stepped up the way he has, so our thoughts are totally with him," said Leslie Burrell of West Mount Airy.
The owner of the van was not injured.
The van owner spoke to Action News after the shooting. He said he helped apply pressure to the wound on the block captain's chest but was too shaken up to talk any further about the ordeal.
Police said the block captan was armed at the time. They have not said that he fired his weapon.
Two of the suspects got away in a silver sedan while the others fled on foot on the 6300 block of Germantown Avenue towards Washington Lane.
Towards the end of the surveillance video, a gunshot can be heard as well as the voices of the suspects as they run off.
Thefts of the exhaust emission control devices have jumped over the past two years as prices for the precious metals they contain have skyrocketed.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-8271.