A pizza delivery driver in Pennsylvania used his personal firearm to stop an armed carjacker Thursday night, police said.
According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, the 39-year-old driver was delivering food around 7:30 p.m. on the 3300 block of H Street when an armed carjacker approached his vehicle.
The suspect, 35, reportedly demanded the delivery driver’s car at gunpoint.
Authorities said the driver then pulled out his own gun and fired it multiple times at the armed carjacker. The suspect was transported to Temple University Hospital in critical condition.
WPVI-TV reported that the driver was legally licensed to carry the firearm that he allegedly used in self-defense.
“The driver of that car- when he saw that this male was pointing a gun at him, demanding that he get out of the vehicle – brandished his own firearm, which he was legally allowed to carry,” said Philadelphia Police Inspector DF Pace.
The rate of carjackings in Philadelphia has tripled over the last year. According to Interim Vice President of the Division of Public Safety (DPS) Kathleen Shields Anderson, over 129 carjacking incidents have been recorded since January 1, just from just 43 during the same period last year, The Daily Pennsylvanian reported.
In response to the crime wave, the DPS published updated guidelines for how the public can avoid and respond to carjackings.
“A reminder, Philadelphia Police have reported an increase in carjackings in the West Philadelphia area. The suspects are usually males, ranging in age from 15 – 30 years of age. They will often approach the victim as they are getting into or out of their vehicle,” the guidance stated.
Authorities also recommended the public be mindful about the following situations:
- Getting in & out of a vehicle
- When parking your vehicle
- Gas stations
- Cars double parked or left running in the street
- Parking locations with poor lighting
- Faked car accidents
Other safety tips provided by the DPS included “be aware of your surroundings, including people and conditions in your area,” “start your car and drive away immediately,” “park in well-lit areas,” and “keep your windows rolled up and doors locked.”
The DPS also said the public should “trust [their] instincts” and leave an area if it feels unsafe.
“Keep your cell phone in your pocket to call police easily. Don’t stop for stranded motorists. Note their location and call 911 or 215-573-3333 in the Penn Patrol Zone to provide them with assistance,” the updated guidance said.
The DPS said victims of a carjacking should give up their car and leave the scene, as well as do everything they can to “avoid verbal and physical confrontations.”
“Make a mental note of suspect’s description. Call Penn Police (215-573-3333) or 911 when it is safe to do so,” the DPS said. “Your vehicle can be replaced. You are irreplaceable!”