‘Horrible Situation': Robbers Root Through Victim's Pockets After Shooting Him in the Back, Possibly Paralyzing Him During Crime Spree

Police suspect same trio could be responsible for a pair of violent robberies in one Philadelphia neighborhood

After shooting a man going to see his girlfriend in the back, a group of robbers rooted through the possibly paralyzed man's pockets during a crime spree in one Philadelphia neighborhood. 

The men attacked their victim as he tried to flee after the robbery attempt at 54th Street and Warrington Avenue in the Kingsessing section of the city, Lt. John Walker, of Philadelphia Police’s Southwest Detectives, said.

The man said he was walking to see his girlfriend, when three men – at least one with a silver handgun – tried to rob him around midnight, police said early Thursday. As he ran across the intersection, one of the men fired a bullet that struck the victim in the back.

"As he's laying on the ground, they run up to him and they go through his pockets," Walker said.

It wasn't even clear if the robbers – all believed to be between 18 to 25 years old – took anything from the 31-year-old victim who was possibly on his phone talking to his girlfriend at the time, investigators said.

Medics rushed the man to Penn Presbyterian Hospital. The victim had no feeling in his extremities and appeared to be paralyzed, something that is common for someone shot in the back, medics told investigators. Doctors will determine in the coming days if the man will be able to walk again.

The shooting happened as officers were on their way to the report of a pistol-whipping about six blocks away at 58th Street and Kingsessing Avenue around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. Officers scooped up the pistol-whipping victim, who was "bleeding pretty profusely," and rushed him to the hospital, Walker said.

The man, in his 30s, told investigators that three men matching similar descriptions to the other attack – at least one with a silver handgun – took $50 during the robbery, Walker said.

"It’s a horrible situation here, we’re looking for the public’s help," Walker said.

No word if the trio committed any other crimes during their spree.

Investigators urged anyone with information to call 215-686-TIPS or submit a tip online.

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