Man Shoots Upper Darby Store Owner After Fight, Police Say

Police arrested a man accused of shooting an Upper Darby store owner after a fight. The store owner's son is speaking out as he continues to recover.

(Published Monday, Sept. 3, 2018)

What to Know

  • Police arrested a man accused of shooting an Upper Darby store owner with his own gun following a fight that was captured on video.

  • Pablo Quintanilla, 24, is charged with criminal attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault and several firearms violations.

  • The store owner is in the hospital in stable condition.

Police arrested a man accused of shooting an Upper Darby store owner with his own gun following a fight that was captured on surveillance video.

Pablo Quintanilla, 24, was arrested Monday and charged with criminal attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault and several firearms violations.

Quintanilla entered the Aaron Beer Distributor on the 700 block of Garrett Road in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Saturday and allegedly stole three beers. Police say Quintanilla reentered the store a few hours later and was confronted by the store owner who had spotted him stealing the beer on surveillance video.

The store owner, a 38-year-old man originally from Vietnam who has been in Upper Darby for 15 years, told the man to leave and an argument ensued between the two men, according to investigators. Surveillance video then shows the store owner punching Quintanilla. Quintanilla then swung at the store owner and pushed him to the ground, police said.

Police say the store owner’s gun then fell out of his waistband. Quintanilla grabbed the owner’s gun and fired four shots before fleeing the scene, according to investigators.

The store owner was struck once in the face, once in the arm and once in the chest area. He was taken to Lankenau Hospital where he is in stable condition. Police say the bullet that went through his chest missed his heart while the bullet that went into his face remains lodged in his neck.

Police received several leads after sharing a surveillance photo on social media. Investigators then identified Quintanilla as the suspect and arrested him at a home on the 100 block of Copley Road in Upper Darby Monday around 11 a.m. A car was on its way to pick Quintanilla up and take him to New York where he had been residing at the time of his arrest, Upper Darby police chief Michael Chitwood said.

Chitwood said Quintanilla is originally from Honduras and was living in the country illegally. He was arrested back on February of 2015 by the U.S. Border Patrol in Texas and deported back to Honduras in March of 2015, according to Chitwood.

“The tragedy is that you’re a businessman, you’ve been here, you’ve been a part of the community for 15 years and then some person, some bad guy, some thug who’s in here illegally, winds up shooting and almost killing you,” Chitwood said. “That says a lot for what we deal with day in and day out.”

Chitwood said Upper Darby Police notified federal authorities.

“That’s not my job to do immigration but when you commit this type of crime, we’re going to notify whoever,” he said.

Chitwood also said the person or people who were planning on taking Quintanilla back to New York didn’t know about the shooting incident.

The store owner has a concealed weapons permit. Chitwood advised against store owners confronting suspected thieves. 

“He should’ve called 911 and got on with life,” Chitwood said. “Over a bottle of beer or several bottles of beer you lose your life? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s worth it.”

Aaron Beer Distributor reopened Monday as the store owner continues to recover.

"He cares about people. He loves people," the owner's son, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10. "I can't imagine what my life would be like without him."

Pablo Quintanilla. See larger. Upper Darby Police