An elderly man in Philadelphia was able to turn the tables on a pair of armed robbers who he alleges tried to rob him. Instead of being a victim, he drew his own firearm and opened fire, exchanging lead with the suspects and securing his life and property.
That happened at about 11:15 pm, when the 71-year-old man, Henry Joel, went to North Philadelphia to pick up Chinese takeout. Two armed men then appeared and announced that it was a robbery and he was being held up. Instead of just handing over his cash, he drew his revolver and exchanged fire with the two robbers.
They fired back, firing at least two shots, according to Police Chief Inspector Scott Small. One of those shots hit the man in the ankle. He was then taken to Temple University Hospital.
Chief Inspector Small also said, “We do know that the 71-year-old victim fired multiple shots. Unknown at this time if he struck any of these two perpetrators, but we’re checking area hospitals at this time.”
Commenting on why he was carrying his pistol to ABC 6, he said “At night, I would keep my hand on my pistol in my pocket in case I have to pull it out. It finally came to reality that I had to use it.”
Then, when describing the assault, he said “They raised a gun to begin shooting. I raised mine and we just started shooting. I don’t know if I hit one of them, but I’m pretty sure I hurt them because they were in the area I was at, basically, and I got shot in the bottom part of the leg which broke my bone.”
Joel also had a message for robbers in Philadelphia, saying, “Stop and think before you act. What’s the point? What are you trying to make the point of? You’re gangsters now or whatever? You think you’re going to get recognition, you’re going to become a star or something? That ain’t gonna put you in no movies, it will put you in the ground.”
Philadelphia has continued to struggle with crime over the past few years. In 2022, for instance, it suffered over 500 homicides, as Fox 29 reported in late December 2022, saying:
With just 11 days left in 2022, Philadelphia has hit an unfortunate milestone.
As of Monday at 11:59 p.m., Philadelphia police reported 500 homicides across the city.
The city has continued to see a steady increase in homicides since 2016, according to data from law enforcement. In 2020, police recorded 499 homicides and 562 homicides in 2021.
Fox 29 also reported that the city has a gang problem, saying:
The new statistic comes just one day after the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced a major gang bust, highlighting the arrest of individuals affiliated with Philadelphia gangs.
Officials with the Philadelphia DAO and law enforcement officers believe gang members sometimes open fire in neighborhoods in order to leave their stamp on them or show that they are serious.
Officials also say the gangs, who are believed to be small groups of friends, are associated with certain blocks and answer to no strict leader.
"*" indicates required fields