An alleged looter who was among four men that broke into a Pennsylvania gun store shop earlier this week has been arrested in connection with the burglary, according to multiple sources.
The suspect has been identified as 17-year-old Khaleef Brown and has been charged with robbery, burglary, gun possession, falsifying information, and related charges, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced on Friday.
The store was ransacked by four men on Tuesday. One of the alleged looters was shot in the head by the gun store owner, who remained inside his store overnight for the last few days, as there was another incident with a burglar attempting to break in.
“The facts we know and the law are clear that the business owner’s use of force while inside his own property against a burglar, accompanied by others, who was entering with a gun in his hand was justified,” Krasner said.
“It is fortunate for the city of Philadelphia that this large cache of guns and ammunitions were not taken and sold on the street,” he added.
The veteran business owner of Firing Line Inc—a gun store located in the Pennsport section of South Philadelphia—has been identified by local news outlet PhillyVoice as Gregory Isabella.
Isabella said at the time of the burglary he spotted three or four men while monitoring his surveillance cameras, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
The burglars reportedly used bolt cutters to cut the lock on the front gate of the store. A pair of cutters was later found by detectives, Small confirmed.
Once the shop owner saw that the burglars managed to breach his shop by breaking his window, he shot his firearm three times, one of the burglars was fatally struck in the head, police said.
“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,” Small said at the time.
A semi-automatic handgun was recovered by detectives near the man. Philadelphia emergency medical responders pronounced the burglar dead at the scene. He was reportedly a male in his 20s.
Brown who was arrested Friday was also struck by Isabella’s gunfire and was hit in the shoulder, PhillyVoice reported. He was able to flee with two other alleged looters but had to seek emergency treatment. At first, Brown made up a story with police that was later claimed to be false.
Krasner said investigators connected Brown to the crime scene through overwhelming evidence. The two other alleged burglars currently remain at large. Nothing was taken from the store and Isabella was not injured in the incident, police said.
Investigators said the surveillance video will assist police in further investigation, and the gun store owner is willing to cooperating with detectives if necessary.
Some store owners in South Philadelphia have been reportedly protecting their businesses from potential looters, who have spread across the city over the past week.
Across the United States, numerous lootings and property destruction have been reported following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes during an arrest.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested last week and was charged with second-degree murder on Wednesday. Chauvin was held at Ramsey County Jail before being taken to the Hennepin County Jail on May 31.
Under Minnesota law, second-degree murder is defined as when a person causes the death of another person with intent without premeditation.
Three other officers who were with Chauvin at the time of the arrest have also been charged with aiding and abetting his murder. The officers have been identified as Thomas Lane and J.A. Keung, who helped restrain Floyd, and Tou Thao, an officer who stood nearby.
County and private autopsies determined that Floyd died by homicide. After firing the officers, Minneapolis Police chief Medaria Arradondo said they were complicit in the man’s death, while Floyd’s family and protesters called on them to be arrested and convicted.