Philly Officer Cleared in 7-11 Robber Shooting

An off-duty Philadelphia police officer was justified when he shot and killed a man who was trying to rob a 7-11 near St. Joe's University last month.

In her ruling, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman wrote:

In this case, the District Attorney concludes that Lt. Josey was justified to use deadly force against Kenneth DeShields on March 19, 2010.  Lt. Josey was acting in the performance of his duties as a police officer. The Lt. interrupted an armed robbery in progress.  His personal observations of the situation, based upon 17 years of police experience advised him that a robbery was underway. Further, the victim reported the crime directly to Lt. Josey as it occurred. Faced with this knowledge, Lt. Josey fulfilled his obligations as a law enforcement officer and attempted to stop the criminal, even though he was off-duty and outside of his jurisdiction of employment at the time. Lt. Josey drew his gun, identified himself as law enforcement, and ordered the felon to stop. The felon ignored commands and ran from the Lt., still in possession of the firearm used to commit the robbery. The Lt. proceeded to chase the armed felon as he fled the scene of the robbery. When the Lt. observed the armed felon reach towards his waistband, he fired at him. Lt. Josey was justified in continuing to employ deadly force while the perpetrator remained in control and possession of the firearm he used to commit the robbery and refused to show his hands or release the gun to ensure the officer’s safety.

Lt. Josey is a regular customer at the 7-11. Video from the scene that night shows the store clerk shaking Lt. Josey's hand and hugging him in what appears to be a very grateful gesture.

The Overbrook man who was robbing the store that night, Kenneth DeShields, was an Iraqi vet home on leave who seemed troubled since his last tour of duty, according to his father.

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