Man Shoots Would-Be Car Thief During Gun Battle, Police Say

During the gun battle, the 18-year-old was shot four times throughout his body and collapsed to the ground after trying to flee, according to investigators.

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An 18-year-old man was shot four times after he got into a gun battle with the owner of the car he was trying to steal in Northeast Philadelphia, police said. 

Police said the 18-year-old and a second suspect were trying to steal a Toyota sedan along the 4400 block of Princeton Avenue around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. The two suspects went inside the car when the vehicle’s owner, a 26-year-old man, heard the commotion and exited his home, according to investigators. 

The 26-year-old man was armed with a gun. Police said the 18-year-old man – who was also armed – exited the vehicle and the two men got into a shootout. Police have not yet determined who fired first. 

At least 13 shots were fired between the two men and the 18-year-old was shot four times throughout his body, according to investigators. The 18-year-old fled on foot and collapsed to the ground about a block away along the 7100 block of Cottage Street, police said. He was taken to the hospital where he was placed in critical condition. The 26-year-old man was not hurt during the shooting. 

A stray bullet also went into the kitchen of a nearby home on Cottage Street though no one inside was injured, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. Investigators have not yet determined if the stray bullet was fired by the 18-year-old or the 26-year-old. 

The second suspect who was still inside the Toyota drove off during the shootout but crashed into a wall along the 4500 block of Princeton Avenue, Small said. The suspect then got out of the car and fled the scene on foot, according to Small. Police have not yet released a description of that suspect. 

The 26-year-old man, who Small says has a valid permit to carry, was interviewed by police and is cooperating with the investigation. Police have not yet revealed whether or not he will face any charges. 

Police also said they found a mask and a gun by the 18-year-old when they responded to the shooting.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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