Police: Gun owner shoots SEPTA carjacker

A man who carjacked a SEPTA maintenance vehicle in Overbrook on Wednesday morning crashed the truck and was subsequently shot by a gun owner whose vehicle he had tried - but failed - to carjack moments before, police said.

The events began around 10:30 a.m. when the 32-year-old carjacker, whose name has not been released, crashed the green Dodge Charger he was driving into a car at 63rd Street and Woodbine Avenue, said Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker.

The vehicle hit by the suspect struck another car, which then hit a fourth vehicle, police said.

As a result of the crash, the suspect's car was disabled. He abandoned the vehicle and tried to carjack a 34-year-old man driving a white Ford Taurus, Walker said, but the doors of the Taurus were locked.

The carjacker then turned his attention to a SEPTA truck driven by a maintenance worker, police said. When the driver did not comply with his demand to get out of the vehicle, the carjacker pulled the driver out and threw him on the ground, Walker said. He then got behind the wheel, but had difficulty operating the diesel work truck, police said, and crashed it in the 2000 block of 63rd Street. When he tried to flee on foot, victims from the initial crash scene, as well as the victim of the failed carjacking and members of the community started to chase him, according to Walker.

"Everybody is yelling 'Get him! Get him!' " Walker said.

Two men from the initial crash scene were able to tackle the suspect, but after a brief struggle he escaped and tried to flee again, police said.

That's when the victim of the failed Taurus carjacking, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and a gun in his pocket, chased the suspect down, Walker said.

When the suspect saw the gun, he tried to reach for it, but the gun owner pulled it first and shot the carjacker once in the leg, according to police.

The suspect was taken to Lankenau Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. The mechanic whose vehicle was stolen suffered a minor finger injury but was otherwise unharmed, according to a SEPTA spokeswoman.

The gun owner, who was also uninjured, was found to be justified in his actions and was cleared through investigation, police said.

The suspect will face carjacking and aggravated-assault charges, Walker said.