Off-Duty Philadelphia Detective Foils Armed Robbery While Picking Up Takeout

Detective kills suspect in shootout, authorities say.

ByABC News
June 5, 2015, 11:28 AM

— -- An off-duty police detective fatally shot an armed robbery suspect while picking up takeout food in Philadelphia late Thursday night, according to authorities.

The detective was picking up his order at Rising Sun Pizza when two armed robbers entered the shop, according to Chief Inspector Scott Small of the Philadelphia Police Department. One of the robbers took a $20 bill from the detective’s hand before putting a gun to his head and forcing him to the ground, Small added.

"They put their gun on his face, and took his $20," said Samuel Nalbandian, the owner of the Rising Sun Pizza who was not present at the shooting but was briefed on the matter by his employees, including his son. "Then they turned and pointed the gun at my son."

When the suspects turned to the counter, the detective identified himself and pulled out his firearm, according to Nalbandian. One of the suspects fired two shots at point-blank range but missed the detective, who returned fire as the suspects fled the scene, fatally striking one suspect, according to authorities. The second suspect remains at large.

Neither the off-duty detective nor the suspects have been identified.

“The detective is extremely lucky that he was not shot, extremely lucky that he was not killed,” Small told WPVI, an ABC News station in Philadelphia.

"Why would you rob a place for $100 and risk your life for it?" Nalbandian asked ABC News. "It's just crazy anyone would do that."

The incident is under investigation.