Detroit woman turns gun on purse snatcher
Suspect, who fled, may be man who died later at hospital; shooter had permit to carry
Delores Flynn / The Detroit News
Detroit -- A Detroit woman whose purse was snatched early Friday morning while she was pumping gas allegedly took matters into her own hands and shot the suspect with a concealed weapon.
Police have yet to definitively identify whether a man who died at an area hospital Friday was involved in the robbery but say it's a "very strong possibility."
The shooting happened around 5 a.m. at the Mobil gas station at Schoolcraft and Southfield, Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens Bell said.
A woman in her 40s was pumping gas when she was approached by a man who demanded her purse and said if she didn't comply, he'd shoot her.
After the suspect snatched the purse, the woman, who has a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, shot several rounds at the suspect who fled on foot, Bell said.
Officials believe a second suspect may have been involved and are questioning witnesses for information, Bell said.
It isn't clear where the woman's concealed weapon was before the shooting.
"A guy did die at a local hospital from gunshot wounds, but we have yet to confirm if it's the individual involved in this case," said Bell, who did not know the number of gunshot wounds the suspect sustained.
The victim's purse was recovered but police aren't saying how.
Investigators are running gun ballistic tests and will forward findings to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to determine whether the victim will be charged. Detroit Police spokesman John Roach declined to comment on whether the shooting appears justifiable.
"In terms of a value judgment, that has to come from the prosecutor," Roach said.
A call to the Prosecutor's Office was not immediately returned Friday.
The case remains under investigation.