Thursday marked the third time since the start of 2022 that an alleged carjacker was wounded by a legal gun owner, FOX 29 reported. According to local media, two attempted carjackers approached the 60-year-old driver around 8 p.m. local time on Cherokee Street in Mount Airy.
The man had been in the process of exiting his car when the young suspects pointed a firearm at his head and ordered him to hand over the car keys, the report states. But instead, the driver also brandished a gun and the groups exchanged fire.
One of the suspects was wounded, and the pair fled after more than a dozen shots were fired between both sides, FOX 29 reported. Police later caught up to the suspect three blocks away, where they found the would-be carjacker, 16, inside a stolen Jeep with a bleeding leg wound, police told the news station.
The victim positively identified the boy as the armed attempted carjacker. He was taken to an area hospital with critical injuries.
Police confirmed to FOX 29 that the victim was a legal gun owner.
"He wasn't hurt, but there's gunshot residue to his face," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told reporters about the victim. "Just a matter of inches. He could have been or would have been struck by gunfire and possibly killed. So he's very lucky."
Earlier this year, a ride-share driver shot two armed carjackers who tried to steal his vehicle while he and a customer were inside, according to the report. Both the driver and his passenger were able to get out of the vehicle before it was stolen.
And in a separate incident, a legally armed health care worker shot someone who he believed was trying to carjack him, FOX 29 reported. The man was sitting inside his vehicle when the 18-year-old suspect approached the driver’s side and flashed a gun. The man reportedly shot the suspect through his car window before he ran off.
Philadelphia Police have received 90 reports of carjackings in 2022 so far, the news station reported. And police said carjackings increased 34% in 2021 compared to 2020.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called the uptick in carjackings "one of the more disturbing trends that we have seen."