Police: Shootout erupts in broad daylight between would-be car thief, vehicle owner
PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia neighborhood is left shaken after police say a gun battle erupted in broad daylight between a car thief and the owner of the vehicle.
Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department were called to the 7100 block of Cottage Avenue around 3:30 p.m. for reports of gunshots.
Responding officers found an 18-year-old victim suffering from four gunshot wounds throughout the body and rushed him to Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital where he was placed in critical condition.
Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters the shooting happened when the 18-year-old and another person were in the process of stealing a car in the back driveway of a home on the 4400 block of Princeton Street.
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Investigators believe the 18-year-old exited the passenger's seat and exchanged gunfire with the 26-year-old owner of the Toyota sedan who noticed his car being stolen.
After being shot several times, Small said the would-be car thief managed to run about a block away onto Cottage Avenue where he collapsed and was found by police.
The second suspect who was in the driver's seat managed to drive the stolen Toyota a short distance away before crashing into a wall and fleeing on foot, police said.
Investigators found over a dozen spent shell casings at the scene of the shootout. The vehicle owner is cooperating with police and preliminary information suggests he is legally permitted to carry a firearm.
A stray bullet shattered the window of a nearby home and lodged in a kitchen wall. No one inside the home was injured, but a resident who spoke to FOX 29 said frustrations are boiling over.
"I'm just so sad that you know these kids out here," the resident said. "The neighborhood is going down, kids trying to steal cars, and stuff like that, I'm so upset about it, you know."