Gunman Shot by Off-Duty Officer Was Iraqi Vet

He came home from the war troubled and was supposed to go back Monday, but didn't

By Karen Araiza
|  Friday, Mar 19, 2010  |  Updated 5:36 PM EDT
St. Joe's Student: I Heard 5 Gunshots


Kenneth DeShield's Facebook profile picture.

Photos and Videos

Vet's Parents Too Distraugt to Talk About Shooting

The parents of an Iraqi War veteran who was shot and killed during an alleged robbery at a Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 7-11 store say their son was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

7-11 Worker Grateful for Off-Duty Officer's Timing

A 7-11 worker hugs the off-duty officer who walked in during a holdup at his store early Friday morning, March 19, 2010. The officer chased the gunman behind a dormitory at St. Joe's University. Gunshots were fired.
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A gunman was shot to death after an attempted holdup at a 7-11 near St. Joe's University on Friday morning. The suspect was an Iraqi vet who came home from the war troubled, and was seeing a psychiatrist to decompress before returning.

Kenneth DeShields was home on leave after spending 10 months in Iraq, according to his parents. His father, who was too upset to talk on camera, told NBC Philadelphia's Jamison Uhler that DeShields was "messed up" from the war and was supposed to go back this past Monday, but didn't.

DeShields had become more of an introvert and didn't want to talk to family about whatever was troubling him, according to his father.

He left his parents' home in Overbrook this morning around 12:30 and didn't return.

About three hours later, DeShields, 37, was trying to rob the convenience store on City Line Avenue, when an off-duty officer who was a regular at the 7-11, walked in, according to police.

DeShields ran out of the store and the officer chased him into a parking lot across the street and behind a school dormitory.

That's when the officer shot DeShields twice in the chest, according to police, who have not given out the off-duty officer's name or released any details of their investigation.

The veteran officer is now on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

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