Tattoo Parlor Owner Shoots at Armed Robbers

His partner tells us all about last Thursday's incident, in which a customer was shot in the leg.

Suspect photos via Philadelphia Police Department

Suspect photos via Philadelphia Police Department

Two men who allegedly tried to rob a Philadelphia tattoo parlor with a gun last Thursday night got a big surprise when it turned out that one of the owners had a gun of his own.

Police say the incident happened just before 8 p.m. Two men — one of them carrying a handgun — walked into the Ink Dynasty tattoo parlor on the 1900 block of North 31st Street in Strawberry Mansion and demanded money, according to police. But instead of handing over his hard-earned cash, the co-owner of the tattoo parlor pulled out a gun and began firing. 

“The guys couldn’t possibly have been from around here,” says the man’s business partner, who asked that his name not be used, on the phone with Philadelphia magazine today. “Everybody in the neighborhood knows that we have security. They didn’t even wear masks!”

According to the partner, the men came to the door, which was locked. The parlor was expecting someone for an appointment, and they assumed that’s who was at the door, so they let the men in.

“I immediately saw the gun,” says the partner. “I clearly could have just taken it from him but I know that my partner is licensed, so there’s no point in me trying to be a superhero.”

He says that he gave a signal that the man had a gun to the co-owner, who was behind a curtain giving a customer a tattoo. The co-owner reached into his drawer, retrieved his gun, and began shooting at the would-be robbers, and the armed suspect fired back, hitting the customer in the leg, according to the partner. (Police say they cannot confirm that it was the robber’s bullet that struck the customer until ballistics are back; the tattoo parlor owner’s gun was confiscated by police pending the outcome of the investigation.)

“Why wouldn’t they wait to rob us until Friday or Saturday?” wonders the partner, who adds that the customer has a broken leg but is otherwise fine. “We don’t make that much money on a Thursday.”

Police describe the two suspects as follows:

Suspect #1: Black male, clean shaven, wearing a blue hooded jacket, gray sweatpants, gray knit hat, and armed with a handgun.

Suspect #2: Black male, husky build, mustache with a beard, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with dark writing, dark colored jacket, blue jeans, and red sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-3047.

View the full surveillance video below.

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