Shopkeeper, 69, shoots, kills man after struggle in store

A Fairhill storeowner on Wednesday night shot and fatally wounded a man who threatened him and got into a violent struggle with him inside the store, police said.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the 69-year-old storeowner and another man got into an argument that turned into a physical fight inside a convenience store on Somerset Street near 9th, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. In an attempt to get away from the man, the shopkeeper locked himself inside the cashier’s booth, Small said, but the man kicked the door in and continued to fight with him. It was then that the owner pulled a gun and put several bullets in the man’s chest, Small said.

Police arrived at the scene around 6:20 p.m. and found the unidentified man bleeding from his gunshot wounds, and evidence of a violent struggle inside the store. Small said the door to the cashier’s booth was destroyed, and splintered wood from its frame littered the floor inside.

Investigators said they received preliminary information from witnesses inside the store at the time that the man who was shot was demanding money from the storeowner during the fight – it’s unclear if they were arguing over money or if he was trying to rob the store.

That man was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m.

The storeowner was taken into police custody Wednesday night, but it’s unclear if he’ll be charged in the fatal shooting, which investigators said preliminarily appears to have been in self-defense.