DA’s Office: Retired police officer thwarts armed robbery by shooting suspect

Lawrence Galloway allegedly entered the gas station, pointed a handgun at two employees and threatened to shoot them.

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. — A retired police officer thwarted an armed robbery earlier this week when he shot the suspect, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred just before midnight on Tuesday at a Turkey Hill gas station in Coatesville.

The DA’s Office says the retired officer was parked and waiting for a friend to get off work at the Turkey Hill when he saw an individual, later identified as 33-year-old Lawrence Galloway, enter the store, point a handgun at two employees and threaten to shoot them. The suspect also demanded money and took it from the register.

The retired officer, who was armed and had a valid permit to carry his weapon, then went into the Turkey Hill, engaged Galloway and shot him multiple times in the lower portion of his body, according to the DA’s Office.  The suspect dropped his gun and fell to the floor. He was taken to the hospital.

“We got lucky,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “If not for this retired officer being in the right place at the right time, we certainly would have had a robbery, and might have seen a double murder. Instead, this defendant now will face justice.”

The DA’s Office notes that the gun allegedly used by Galloway was stolen out of Downingtown in 2016.

“The defendant had a stolen gun and was a person disqualified from possessing guns,” said Coatesville Police Chief John Laufer. “The retired officer had a permit to carry and acted quickly. We are all grateful that no innocent victim was killed.”

Galloway faces charges of robbery, possession of a firearm prohibited, simple assault, possession of weapon, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and recklessly endangering another person, court documents show.

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