Three armed robbers were playing a game of Russian roulette on the streets of Tacony, Mayfair and Wissinoming last Thursday night. On their fourth try, the inevitable happened.
According to Philadelphia police, a would-be victim turned the tables on the gunmen when he pulled out his own pistol and wounded one of the assailants in an exchange of gunfire. Within hours, all three of the suspects were in police custody.
The shootout happened at about 10:20 p.m. on the 4300 block of E. Cheltenham Ave. A 37-year-old man was helping a woman move furniture when two unknown men approached them on the street. One suspect pulled a black revolver on the man, while an accomplice guarded the woman. The male victim surrendered his cell phone upon command, but as the gunman examined the device, the male victim grabbed for his own concealed weapon.
He ordered the two suspects not to move. Instead, the gun-toting robber fired two shots as he and his accomplice ran toward a waiting car. The male victim returned fire before the crooks drove away. The male victim called 911.
Police determined that there had been three similar hold-ups in the 15th district within the previous hour. They occurred near 4200 Hellerman St., where two 20-year-old women were targeted; near 7200 Sackett St., where a 16-year-old boy was targeted; and near 3300 Brighton St., where a 33-year-old man was targeted. No victim injuries were reported.
About 40 minutes after the shootout on Cheltenham Avenue, police were called to Aria Hospital-Frankford, where two men had brought a shooting victim to the emergency room. The injured man had wounds of the arm and torso. Police were told that a single bullet had passed through his arm, entered his chest and lodged in his back. Although his two friends had left the hospital, police obtained their descriptions from the staff and stopped them on a nearby block of Frankford Avenue.
Victims identified the wounded man and his friends as the robbers, police said. Cops also recovered one gun and the alleged getaway car.
Police identified the alleged robbers as three men from Frankford: Derrick Glover, 23, of the 4500 block of Worth St.; Marquan Scott, 21, of the 4200 block of Griscom St.; and Darryl Watkins, 19, of the 4600 block of Tacony St. Glover was the one who got shot. He was treated and released from the hospital.
No charges were filed against the victim in the fourth robbery. ••