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Looters break into a Philly gun store overnight — and are surprised to meet the owner armed with an M4 rifle

One of the men was killed

Image source: WCAU-TV video screenshot

A group of would-be looters attempted to break into a gun store in Philadelphia early Tuesday morning, and one of them was killed by the owner who happened to be spending the night inside to protect his business, WCAU-TV reported.

The owner of the Firing Line Inc. gun store knew that people had tried to break into his store over the past few nights, so he decided to stay the night in the store and monitor the surveillance cameras.

Around 4:15 a.m., he saw a group of three or four men using bolt cutters on the gate to break into the property. The group of looters broke through the back door of the store and headed upstairs.

When they got upstairs, they were greeted by the store's 67-year-old owner armed with an M4 rifle. The owner fired at the intruders, killing one of them with a shot to the head. The other men escaped, leaving behind a handgun. Police believe a man who turned up in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the shoulder could be one of the suspects.

The police believe the man who was killed was pointing the handgun at the store owner.

"One of the individuals that broke into the property, pointed a handgun at him," Chief Inspector Scott Smalls said, according to WTXF-TV. "And that's when the store owner fired his own weapon, striking the one perpetrator at least one time in the head and he collapsed, dropping his gun between his legs."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was troubled by occurrences of deadly violence that have resulted from looting, but he also sent a clear message, saying "looting has consequences."

The other men are expected to be charged with burglary, police said. The store owner was not injured in the incident.

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