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Gun Store Owner Fatally Shoots Armed Looter During Predawn Break-In

The store owner shot the armed intruder at least once in the head, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Philadelphia, PA – A gun shop owner fatally shot one of several looters who broke into his business and pointed a gun at him early Tuesday morning.

The altercation occurred at the Firing Line Inc. store in the 1500-block of Front Street at approximately 4:11 a.m., WNYW reported.

According to police, looters already tried to break into the business on Sunday night, so the shop owner stayed inside the building to guard it from further attempts.

He spotted the suspects breaking into the shop on his security cameras early Tuesday morning, then heard them coming up the steps, WNYW reported.

That’s when one of the suspects pointed a gun at him, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told the news outlet.

“The store owner fired his own weapon, striking the one perpetrator at least one time in the head, and he collapsed, dropping his gun between his legs,” Chief Small said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they were working to identify the deceased suspect, who was described as a male in his 20s.

The suspect’s two or three accomplices fled from the business, WNYW reported.

Investigators later located one of the suspected looters at a local hospital.

He had been shot in the shoulder.

Police said they expect to connect him to the break in from the bullet from his shoulder, WNYW reported.

Investigators also recovered a pair of large bolt cutters at the scene of the shooting.

“The lock was actually cut off of the front gate, and then the side glass door to the property was completely smashed in,” Chief Small explained.

The rioting comes in the wake of the May 25 in-custody death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest. His charges have since been upgraded to second-degree murder.

On June 3, former Minneapolis Police Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder for their role in Floyd’s arrest.

The officers had responded to a call about a counterfeit $20 that Floyd had allegedly used to make a purchase at a deli.

Store employees pointed out the suspect to police and they arrested him.

The complaint used to charge Chauvin said Floyd actively resisted arrest and then fought being put in the back of a police car once he had been handcuffed.

Viral cell phone video showed then-Officer Chauvin and three other officers holding Floyd on the ground.

The video showed Officer Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, during which time the suspect lost consciousness.

Chauvin remained on Floyd’s neck for almost three minutes after he was unresponsive.

Floyd was pronounced dead 90 minutes later at the hospital.

After three days of violent riots and looting that left Minneapolis and its sister city, St. Paul, in flames, the state investigative agency announced it making an arrest.

Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after the incident and held on a $500,000 bond, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced, according to WCCO.

According to charging documents, the medical examiner’s preliminary report found no physical evidence that Floyd had suffered from asphyxiation or strangulation at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

The preliminary autopsy findings indicated Floyd had died from a combination of his underlying medical problems and possible substances.

“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death,” according to the complaint.

But veteran forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told reporters on Monday at the Floyd family press conference that his independent autopsy determined that the man had died of asphyxiation much in the same way Eric Garner died from a choke hold in New York in 2014, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The Eric Garner autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him.

But the final autopsy findings released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office hours later confirmed that Floyd had died from heart failure.

“Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” Floyd’s autopsy said. “Manner of death: Homicide.”

“How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the report continued. “Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”

The toxicology results showing fentanyl and methamphetamine directly contradicted assertions by the forensic pathologist that Floyd’s family’s attorneys hired to dispute the initial medical examiner’s report.

And a postmortem nasal swab showed that Floyd tested positive SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, according to KSTP. He had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in April 3.

Protests erupted in the Twin Cities after Floyd’s death, leaving both Minneapolis and the state’s capital of St. Paul burned, looted, and destroyed.

Rioters overran and torched the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct where the officers accused of Floyd’s homicide were assigned.

Protests spread across the United States, and became very violent in major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Oakland, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Washington, DC.

Holly Matkin - June Fri, 2020

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