A Philadelphia gun shop owner shot and killed a man who broke into his store early Tuesday morning as rioting and looting continued in the city in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Greg Isabella, the 67-year-old owner of Firing Line Inc. in South Philadelphia, was staying in his shop overnight on Monday because burglars had tried to break in several times in the nights leading up to the incident.
At around 4:15 a.m., the owner saw four men on his surveillance camera who were attempting to break in to the shop, he told police. The men took bolt cutters to the gate, leaving a broken lock on the ground.
The men broke glass when they broke in the back door and went upstairs, at which point the owner began shooting his Bushmaster M-4 rifle and hit one of the men, in his 20s, in the head, according to police. The man died in the store. Police also recovered a handgun they believe was brought by the man Isabella shot.
“He heard them walking up the steps, and one of the individuals who broke into the property pointed a handgun at him,” Philadelphia police inspector Scott Small said to Fox 29. “And that’s when the store owner fired his own weapon, striking the one perpetrator at least one time in the head.”
The other men fled, and the owner was not hurt in the incident.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a press conference Tuesday that they were supportive of the rights of individuals to protect their lives and property but cautioned residents against taking the law into their own hands.
Kenney remarked that he was “deeply troubled at the ease with which another life has been taken amidst this chaos.”
Riots broke out last week in Philadelphia and other cities across the nation after George Floyd, a black man, died in police custody. A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during his arrest even as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe and eventually lost consciousness.
Rioters have looted stores and burned police cars in several metropolitan areas and burned a police precinct in Minneapolis, where Floyd’s death occurred.