A Warrington native in his second year at Temple University is recovering after exchanging gunfire with a would-be 15-year-old robber early Monday morning.
Robert Eells, 21, was smoking a cigarette with a roommate outside their rowhome on the 2300 block of North 12th Street in the city about 1:53 a.m. when three males approached, police said. One of the males, 15-year-old Rafiq Thompson of Philadelphia, pulled a gun and demanded money, according to police.
But Eells was no easy mark. He refused to hand over money and the teenager started firing. Eells was hit in the stomach, but returned fire with his own handgun, striking the teen in the leg and torso, according to police. The teen’s accomplices ran away. Eells and Thompson were both taken to Temple University Hospital.
The bullet passed through his (Eells) body but doctors made an 8-inch incision to repair his internal organs. Doctors told family members he was lucky, the bullet missed striking a section of intestines that would have left Eells in need of a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.
Mack said her grandson has grown up around guns and has a legal permit for the handgun he carried. She said she believes he got the permit and the gun for protection while living in the city.