Police say that a 65-year-old Philadelphia man who opened fire on a city street was acting in self-defense.
Two men were shot after the unidentified man opened fire. The man told police that the two men started an altercation, which led to him firing his gun at them.
According to WCAU, the man was walking with his wife when they passed two men who were 20 and 21 years old. One of the two young men asked, “What are you looking at?”
The wife says that the two men then started punching her husband and threw him to the ground, where they continued the beating. A witness said that they saw the two men standing over the 65-year-old, kicking him while he was on the ground.
The 65-year-old pulled out a .45 caliber pistol and fired several shots at the two men. He hit the 21-year-old in the shoulder and the 20-year-old in the stomach. They were both taken to Jefferson Hospital and are in stable condition.
The 65-year-old man’s face, head, and chest were bruised. He was treated at a local hospital and released soon after. His wife was not injured in the attack.
The case is still under investigation, but police say that the man fired shots in self-defense.
“In any kind of situation like that, I mean the only appropriate amount of force would be to stop the aggressors,” Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Stanford told WCAU. “You can’t become the aggressor. This man is very lucky he was able to defend himself and defend his wife because we don’t know. We don’t know if he didn’t have a firearm, we don’t know what we may have been talking about at this point in time.”
Residents of the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia, where the shooting took place, spoke to WPVI about the incident. One neighbor referred to the 65-year-old man as “Sal,” though his identity has not been revealed.
“A lot of commotion, a lot of commotion. From what we heard, ‘Old Man Sal’ — we kind of know him from the neighborhood,” said neighbor Anthony Conte. “Heard there was a little bit of a ruckus and he pulled out a gun and shot a couple of people.”
“Good for him that he knew how to protect himself,” said Gilly Aroshas, a local business owner who knows the couple. “It could go any other way, the other side and he could get hurt or his wife. It’s shocking to hear these kinds of things. You know I’ve been here for 30 years.”
“This was a matter of life or death,” said the couple’s attorney, Kenneth Young. “If he didn’t do what he did, and he didn’t have the training to do it. I think we would be at a funeral right now. It’s that bad.”