Once a cop, always a cop. Or so it seemed in the incident during which a retired Philly cop shot and killed a teenager as the boy and his comrades attempted to rob him. And in a separate incident, the actions of a cop gave an armed robber new meaning to the word scarface. Check out the story below as reported by Daily News staffer Stephanie Farr:
A retired Philadelphia cop working as a pizza deliveryman fatally shot a 14-year-old boy who was pointing a gun at him during an attempted robbery yesterday morning in Frankford, police said. Shortly afterward, in an unrelated shooting, a police officer’s bullet fragment hit a 17-year-old robbery suspect in the face in Fairmount, police said.
In the first incident, the 14-year-old and two other suspects were trying to rob the ex-officer at gunpoint while he was delivering a pizza about 1:15 a.m. on Lesher Street near Bridge, police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said. The boy pointed the gun at the former cop while his cohorts — also believed to be teenagers — attempted to go through the victim’s pockets, Vanore said. But the deliveryman — whose name was withheld by police — was able to reach into a pocket and pull out a semiautomatic Glock, which he had a permit to carry, Vanore said.
The deliveryman shot the gun-wielding boy once in the chest, and the boy was pronounced dead at 2:14 a.m. at Temple University Hospital, police said. His identity was not released pending notification of his family and the identification of his alleged accomplices. The two other teens were still being sought by police, Vanore said.
The deliveryman, who is in his 50s, had been assigned to the Northeast and retired from the Police Department around 2000, Vanore said. The decision of whether to press charges against the deliveryman rests with the District Attorney’s Office, but Vanore said initial information doesn’t suggest that the retired cop acted in a negligent manner.
The case is being handled by the homicide unit, police said.
Vanore said it’s common for retired police officers to “invoke the privilege” to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon long after their careers on the street are over.
“Once you’re an officer, you’re always kind of there,” he said. In the other shooting yesterday, a 23rd District officer questioning robbery suspects in Fairmount about 3 a.m. discharged his gun into a sidewalk, sending one of the teen suspects to the hospital with a graze wound from a bullet fragment, Vanore said. The incident began near North Broad Street and West Thompson, where three men robbed a 30-year-old woman at gunpoint, Vanore said. The victim provided descriptions of the suspects to police, and responding officers soon found three men fitting the bill at Poplar Street near North 23rd.
“As they approached they noticed one of the males, a 17-year-old, had what appeared to be the butt of a gun sticking from his waistband area,” Vanore said. “They ordered him not to move, to drop it, but as he reached for the firearm, one officer discharged.” That officer’s single bullet hit the sidewalk and broke into fragments, one of which struck the 17-year-old in the face, police said. That teen, who is from North College Avenue near North 25th Street, was taken to Temple, where he was listed in stable condition. Also apprehended at the scene was a 14-year-old boy from North Dover Street near West Oxford. A third suspect fled on foot, but police have a “good idea” who that suspect, believed to be a 17-year-old boy, is, Vanore said.
A “very real-looking pellet gun” found at the scene is believed to have been the weapon officers spotted in the teen’s waistband, according to Vanore. As is routine procedure, the officer who fired the shot will be placed on desk duty until Internal Affairs and Central Detectives complete an investigation into the case, police said.
*Question: The retired police officer was within his rights to carry a concealed weapon, but should he have shot the 14-year-old robber? Post a comment and share your thoughts.