A Philadelphia man shot and killed an alleged home intruder impersonating a police officer just after 10 p.m. on Sunday. The gunfire prompted the trespasser’s accomplice to flee the scene on foot.
According to authorities, two male suspects claiming to be police officers approached the victim, a 25-year-old man, as he was returning home to his duplex in the 7200 block of Battersby Street in the Mayfair neighborhood of north Philadelphia, Fox 29 reported.
The suspects forced their way into the man’s home where they tied him up and threatened his life.
“They tied his hands with zip ties around his back and threatened to kill him if he made any sudden moves. That’s when our victim realized these individuals were not police officers,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said, according to WPVI.
The victim then managed to free his hands and pulled a legally concealed gun out of his pocket. He opened fire at the suspects, hitting one of them three times in the head, chest and arm.
The wounded intruder had a police badge around his neck, Small said. He was taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where he died at 10:19 p.m., according to Fox 29.
“I pulled out and shot right at him and that’s it,” the victim said.
Police told NBC Philadelphia that the victim was licensed to carry a gun. Both the victim and his girlfriend, who was upstairs during the incident, were taken into custody for questioning. They were later released, and no charges were filed.
Law enforcement seized a weapon from the deceased intruder’s pocket and the gun the victim used in self-defense.
“I saw my neighbor outside speaking very loudly obviously he was very emotional,” the victim’s neighbor, Ted Alicea, told police. “He was excited telling police, ‘The guy identified himself, I thought it was a cop.’ He kept saying one guy got away.”
Philadelphia set the record for homicides last year, and the city continues to see rampant gun crime in 2022. Over the Easter holiday weekend, Philadelphia had at least 39 shootings, during which 9 people were killed.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called the violence “devastating” in a series of posts on Twitter.
“The amount of violent incidents over the past 24 hours in our city is devastating. The surge in gun violence that we’ve seen makes me not just heartbroken, but angry,” Kenney tweeted. “Our administration continues to work relentlessly to reduce violence and create safer communities for everyone.”
“I can’t reinforce enough how tragic and needless this loss of life is. Until we address the availability and ease of access to firearms, we will always be fighting an uphill battle,” he continued. “My deepest sympathies go out to the loved ones of those affected by violence.”