Cops: Shopper at Germantown grocery shot at would-be robber, hit guard instead

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Brian Prater, 45, of the 4600 block of Greene Street, was charged with robbery and theft.

A woman pulled out her revolver at a Germantown supermarket Monday morning and fired two shots at a man who was robbing her, but she missed her target and instead hit a store security guard, police said.

The 24-year-old security guard, who was struck in a shin, was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition, a police spokesman said.

The case remained under investigation, but the 51-year-old gun owner had a valid license to carry a concealed firearm and was not expected to face charges, a police source said.

According to authorities, the woman was trying to enter the Save-a-Lot grocery store in the 5800 block of Pulaski Avenue around 6:07 a.m. when Brian Prater, 45, attempted to block her way. The woman called for store security and dialed 911, police said.

Prater and the woman exchanged words, and then he charged at her with a large stick and tried to hit her, police said.

Prater then threw a cup of hot coffee at the woman, and she drew her revolver and fired twice, authorities said.

One bullet is believed to have ricocheted off the ground before it struck the security guard in his right shin, police said.

Prater, who was uninjured, allegedly grabbed the woman's purse and cellphone and ran. He was found by police on Rittenhouse Street in Germantown with the large stick and the woman's purse in his hands, police said.

Prater, of the 4600 block of Greene Street, was charged with robbery and theft.

The gun-toting shopper is one of about 32,000 gun owners who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Philadelphia, according to statistics previously provided by police.

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