A FedEx driver used a legally registered weapon to kill a would-be robber during a gun battle in Northeast Philadelphia, police said Wednesday.
The 32-year-old driver, who police still consider a victim, was delivering a package to a home on the 600 block of Unruh Avenue Tuesday night when was approached by an armed robber who stole his wallet and keys and shot him, Philadelphia Police Department Capt. Jason Smith said.
The driver returned fire, shooting 27-year-old Jevan Lundy several times, Smith said.
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Police later found an unresponsive Lundy on the 1400 block of Creston Street and recovered the victim’s FedEx ID card, the captain said. Lundy was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was declared dead.
Police found another man with Lundy and searched that person’s car, which they believe was used to drive Lundy away from the scene of the shooting, Smith said. Officers found bullet casings on the floor of the vehicle. That man was taken in for questioning, but it was unclear if he would face charges.
“He is speaking to us, of course not portraying that he had any involvement with this robbery,” Smith said.
The victim, meanwhile, was able to drive away from the scene and was later found slumped over his truck’s steering wheel at an Acme parking lot on the 6600 block of Oxford Avenue, suffering from a gunshot to the stomach.
He told police he had opened fire, and officers found his legally registered 9mm handgun inside his truck, Smith said. The victim also had a permit to carry.
"Based on the preliminary story that was relayed, it appears to be self-defense: he was shot first, he fired back," Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said.
Margie Helverson, who lives on the block where the shooting took place, described the driver as a “nice guy.” “He’ll ring the doorbell to let you know there’s a package there, so I’m praying he’s OK, Helverson said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 50 nonfatal attacks on light truck or delivery services drivers in 2018. That same year, there were also two homicides, according to the bureau.
A FedEx spokesperson would not reveal whether or not the company has a policy regarding its drivers being armed, saying only that, “The safety of our team members and service providers is a top priority and we are cooperating fully with the investigating authorities at this time.”