Southwest Philadelphia pizza deliveryman Gafar Surah didn't put up a fight when armed robbers forced him to kneel on the ground and demanded cash Monday night. He gave up $60 -- all he had on him at the time.
But $60 wasn't enough, and the two heartless young men put a bullet in the back of Surah's head anyway, Philadelphia police said.
Now, Surah, who recently came to the U.S. from Ghana and worked as a deliveryman to support his wife and baby daughter, is lucky to be alive. He remained hospitalized Tuesday in stable condition as police continued to search for the men who lured him to a narrow Southwest Philly block by ordering a pizza, then carjacked, robbed and shot him.
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Surah, 35, was working his delivery shift at Chillin Pizza on Elmwood Avenue when police say the suspects called for a pizza about 10:40 p.m. Monday. They asked for the food to be delivered to Beaumont Avenue near 57th Street in Kingsessing, according to police.
That's when things went terribly wrong for the driver trying to make an honest living.
"As he gets onto the block he makes a phone call [to the customer] and tells him he's out front, at that point he tells them, 'All right, we'll be right out,'" Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said.
Two men, at least one with a gun, then approached the driver as he got out to bring the food out of the passenger side of his gold Toyota Corolla, police said.
The pair forced Surah back into the car drove him to nearby Cobbs Creek, police said, where they forced him out of the car and demanded money.
"They tell him to go on his knees," Walker said. "At that point, one of the men returns to car and acts as though he’s going to run him over."
The victim tried to run, but his assailants threw him back on the ground and then got back into the car and opened fire, striking the deliveryman in the back of his head, according to police.
"He then gets up and runs … near Cobbs Creek, he's yelling for help, yelling for help and finally he collapses," Walker recounted.
Police scooped up the deliveryman and rushed him to Penn Presbyterian Hospital in critical condition.
The victim's sedan was found running, its lights on, along Belmar Street – a few blocks away from the shooting scene.
Investigators didn’t have much information on the offenders outside of Walker's guess that they believe they could be "juveniles who live in this community."
Investigators asked anyone with information to contact police.