Sharon Doyle may be petite but the 46-year-old store owner is anything but defenseless, as one alleged robber learned on Monday.
Police say the unidentified 47-year-old man likely believed Doyle was an easy target when he entered the Stan's Health Foods Store on the 7100 block of Frankford Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. But little did he know, there's more to Doyle than meets the eye.
"She was a Philadelphia Police officer and she also was in the Secret Service," said Doyle's mother, Rita Perrell.
Investigators say Doyle's law enforcement training was put to the test as the man held a knife and announced that a robbery was taking place.
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Doyle was working by herself inside her store as a cashier. Police say the man went behind the counter, grabbed the register and threw it to the ground, forcing it open.
After grabbing some cash, the man allegedly stood up and put his knife to Doyle's chest. That's when she grabbed her own weapon, according to investigators.
"She pulled out a revolver and shot the suspect one time in his torso," Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The man collapsed to the ground and Doyle called police.
"When police arrived he was behind the counter, unconscious on the ground," said Small. "He still had a $100 bill clutched in his left hand."
The man was taken to Aria-Torresdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 p.m. Police have not yet identified him but say he has a lengthy criminal record for burglary.
Police say the shooting was a justifiable homicide and no charges will be filed.
Doyle was not hurt during the incident, which she credits not only to her law enforcement experience but also to a very special piece of jewelry.
"I think this helped me the most," Doyle said while holding her necklace. "It's a guardian angel."