65-Year-Old Philly Concealed Carrier Shoots Muggers: Defensive Gun Use of the Day

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“‘I think the moral of the story is you just never know who’s packing heat,’ said (Anthony) Conte. ‘Old man Sal was packing so you gotta watch out. And it’s a shame it went down. I hope those kids are OK.'” You can see those so-called kids — aged 20 and 21 — examining their gunshot wounds above (click here for the video). They’d allegedly assaulted a 65-year-old man and his wife on a Philadelphia street Tuesday night, blissfully unaware that “old Sal” had a license to carry and a .45 . . .

It was just after 8:30 p.m. when the couple was walking home from work. They told police two men passed them. One of those men said to the husband, “What are you looking at?” then punched him, threw him to the ground and continued assaulting him.

Then they turned their attention to the wife, in her 50s, punching and knocking her down as well.

Sal was also smart enough to let his lawyer talk to the media.

The couple’s attorney said they tried to get away, but the two men kept coming after them.

“They attack him. They attacked his wife. He begged to stop. Him and his wife pulled away. They kept on coming,” said Kenneth Young. “He explained he has a firearm. They said they don’t care. They punched him in the face.”

The couple was also treated for injuries. Police and the attorney said the husband suffered serious wounds to his eye and face.

“This was a matter of life or death. If he didn’t do what he did, and he didn’t have the training to do it. I think we would be at a funeral right now. It’s that bad,” Young said.

The two yoots were hospitalized and, according to reports, will recover. The local DA will decide who will be charged and with what. Our money’s on Old Sal to skate. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: don’t mess with an old guy.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    A .45 and they’re standing around looking at their oowie? So much for caliber wars.

    And yes do not mess with an old man. Especially when someone he cares about is around. You will not win. Not if I have to park a 4runner on your head and spin the tire.

    1. avatar -Peter says:

      I know! After one shot with a .45, there should be nothing left of these kids but a pile of raw hamburger. They should be scraping bits of those dudes off the walls of buildings a block away!

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        You forgot about the part where a .45 is suppose to kill their souls!

        1. avatar James69 says:

          and the two new black holes that opened in the universe upon the .45 round contacting flesh.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “You forgot about the part where a .45 is suppose to kill their souls!”

          It stole their souls.

          They just don’t know it yet… 🙂

        3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          That was old Sal’s problem: The guys he shot had no soul to kill. Against the soulless, only Zombie ammo can be relied on to work.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “A .45 and they’re standing around looking at their oowie? So much for caliber wars.”

      I’ve brought this one up many time in the caliber wars, but check out Jared Restin’s first gunfight. First he knew he was in a gunfight was getting shot in the jaw with a .45. Went on to receive an additional six or so hits from the bad guy’s .45 (though 3-4 were in body armor).

      Jared won that gunfight, with three contact head shots to the bad guy…which autopsy showed only one was fatal. He had likewise shot the bad guy something like seven times in total. Jared was using a .40 with the often vaunted “Duty Ammo.”

      So, yeah. Caliber wars indeed…

    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      You have to look really, really hard or you’ll miss it, but you can actually see the “hydrostatic shock” the .45 guys talk about. It’s when the first guy sits down with that “WTF just happened” look.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        And you sir win the Intertubez today with that comment!!!

      2. avatar Frank says:

        This, LOL.

  2. avatar JasonM says:

    That can’t be true. Our benefactors at The Trace and MDA have assured us many times that self defense shootings never happen.

  3. avatar Hannibal says:

    I’m not glad they’re okay. They’re predators, trying to take down the old and weak. Next time they might be luckier.

    1. avatar Grumpy F'er says:

      News Anchor: “…a man used a GUN!…”

      Remote talking head: “…the attorney for the shooter…” (“SHOOTER!” not victim, not elderly man down on the sidewalk due to being punched repeatedly)

      Neighbor being interviewed: “Old man Sal. You just don’t know who’s packing heat. I hope the kids are going to be OK.”

      What a twisted world we live in.

      1. We don’t live in a twisted world because we don’t live in Queen Village.

  4. avatar Cliff H says:

    “I hope these kids are okay.” Huh? What?

    1. avatar SelousX says:

      Yeah, the whole “I hope those kids are OK” thing was a ‘WTF?!” moment for me, too.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Kinda what I said…

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      Sad. They seriously punched an old lady. A couple of criminals assault a senior citizen couple, they defend themselves, and people worry about the criminal’s condition. Amazing.

    4. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      The ideal amount of force to use, is that which ends the danger, with as little collateral damage as possible. Walking around cheering for people to get harmed over and above that which is required to get them to behave less threateningly, isn’t the most reliable way to get past the gates of Heaven, when that day comes.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Do you know what the phrase “repeat offender” means?

        1. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

          “that’s one bone head word.”

        2. You’re not just telling us what we want to hear, are you?

        3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

          I do. And it does not mean “someone You or I get to decide whether deserve to live or not.” That part is God’s gig. Ours is just to defend ourselves and ours’, while making reasonable attempts to minimize unnecessary pain and suffering.

    5. avatar Bob R says:

      Because Liberal…

  5. avatar S.CROCK says:

    A .45 didn’t blast the perps into oblivion? People who used guns in self defense didn’t have their weapons taken and used against them? I don’t know what lies to believe anymore.

  6. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    2= chest …..1= head
    Peace be with you.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Not so hard with a stationary paper target.

      Try it against moving bad guys, in low light, after you’ve been punched in the eyes a few times and knocked to the ground.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        And two on one…

        Sal did just fine. Hat’s off to him, and prayer of thanks said on his and wife’s behalf.

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          BG #1 = hole in stomach x 1
          BG #2 = hole in neck x 1

          GG #1 = no holes.
          GG #2 = no holes

          That’s downright combat effective in my book. Cannot ask for much better.

      2. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

        Sal did what he could, not judging by any count C

    2. avatar Blake says:

      I have a nephew that is a cop. According to him, the new training is shot to the groin/pelvis, which brings the head down for a clean shot to the top of the head.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        They’re going to call this “The South Park Drill”?

        1. avatar rosignol says:

          I’m hoping they call it the Darwin.

        2. avatar Deano says:

          Dude. You can’t shoot a guy in the dick.

  7. avatar jwtaylor says:

    The hardest, toughest team I ever worked on in the Army was all old dudes. They were infinitely smarter than the younger guys I had worked with, but that wasn’t it. They had just already checked all of their big life boxes. They were ready to go, and they were ready to leave proud.
    Zero fux were given. Loved those guys.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Question was asked by the powers that be in ww2. When a merchant vessel in the North Atlantic is torpedoed and an injured 45 yo man goes into the water at the same time as an uninjured 18 yo why does the 45 yo survive in the cold water long enough to be rescued and the 18 yo dies?

      They came to the conclusion that the older man had mental toughness that the younger had not had time to aquire.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        There have been similar observations with high altitude climbers. Folks have this impression that the young, in-shape whipper snappers are more successful. But, it’s not true.

        If memory serves correctly (thus demonstrating that I am out of BOTH demographics), the highest band of high altitude climbing success, especially in “bad conditions” is mid-30’s to mid 40’s, and the prevailing theory is precisely what you described.

        There’s something to be said for mental maturity in survival situations.

      2. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Yay, story time!
        I was 35 years old and in the best shape of my life for my first tour to Afghanistan. That year I ran the army 10 miler in 56 minutes flat. I had a perfect PT test, in full kit, including armor (65lbs total) at 7,000ft of elevation. By any standard, I was in excellent physical condition.
        And, because they thought I could keep up, I was asked to go on a 2 man LPOP with one iron wire of a man on our team. That man was 20 years older than me, and he rucked me into the ground. There were a couple of times on that long, painful treck where I thought “Holy shit JDub, Ranger the fu(k up or this old man is going to leave you here to die.” When we got back, days later, I told the NCOIC I didn’t know how the old infidel had done it. At the pace we were going, and at altitude, every part of my body hurt, but he just kept going, not saying a word. He told me “Doc, that man wakes up in more pain than you were in at your worst moment.” When I took a look at his medical record, there was just nothing left of his knees, or hips. He was just bone on bone everywhere.
        And to him, it was all background noise, tuned out for the mission.
        When he got back, he had a double knee and double hip replacement, and the last I heard he was in an AfPac studies group in the old ARSIC East.

      3. avatar Another brother says:

        This observation gave rise the Outward Bound organization. Outstanding programs. I went through 2 programs with my teenage son & daughter. One was 1 week white water rafting on the Colorado River, the other Canoe & Portage & Camping. No frills. Tarps not tents, etc. Life changing for all of us. Try running a mile with a canoe held over your head, in the woods, rough trail, water to cross. I was 50 kids 14 & 15.

      4. avatar Geoff PR says:

        (WW II merchant marine ship sunk in the cold North Atlantic)

        “why does the 45 yo survive in the cold water long enough to be rescued and the 18 yo dies?”

        That 45 year old in WW II had survived a few years earlier The ‘Great Depression’…

      5. avatar Geoff PR says:

        EDIT – That 45 year old in WW II had survived ‘The Great Depression’ that started in 1929 and didn’t really end until the beginning of WW II.

        Those folks were made of strong stuff back then…

        1. avatar Arkansas kurt says:

          My grandfather was born in 1919. Was raised with his two sisters and 6 brothers on a sustenance farm in central arkansas. He was 20 when ww2 broke out. He enlisted in the army, fought in europe, went through Ocs and came out in 1946 as a 1st lt. he had previously dropped out of school in the 8th grade to spend more time working the farm. After the army he married my grandmother, bought a farm, raised 8 kids, went to college, and grew experimental grapes for the university of ar. My point here is, when I was 16 17 18 years old and in prime football playing physical shape, my 80+ year old grandfather would work me into the ground. I spend summers on the farm and that man could work all day everyday and I couldn’t even come close to keeping up. it’s humbling. Older folk have been through a lot more than the young and the experience counts for more than anything, IMHO.

  8. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    From the article:
    “Police are calling the shooting self defense.”

    Good call.

    1. avatar Bob R says:

      Yeah, well, kind of hard to sell the story of an elderly couple going around attacking 20 year olds out on the street…

  9. avatar Texheim says:

    Too old to run, too young to die

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      And I’m off to CafĂ© Press to make that shirt right now. Thank you.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Designed ordered and done.

      2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

        You should post it here when you make it. I bet TTAG fools like myself just might buy one.

        1. avatar Bill B says:


          I like it.

  10. avatar jwm says:

    Sal. Says it all.

  11. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    Zero fuks…#thuglivesdontmatter

  12. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Those Aussies need to come back and visit with old Sal instead of just getting the vapors over M82’s Maybe they’d learn why some people need guns turned on them.

  13. avatar Tom W. says:

    If they’re too old to fight, they’ll just shoot you.
    Sal ended the assault/attack to him and his wife.

    Success story.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    The two yoots . . . will recover.

    Well, that’s unfortunate.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      And probably be charged with misdemeanor assault & battery. Then they will get a lawyer and sue Sal for excessive use of force.

      1. avatar Daily Beatings says:

        Nope, Pennsylvania provides civil immunity for actions deemed in self-defense:


        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          It’s ridiculous that is actually needed.

      2. avatar Bob R says:

        I doubt they will spend very much time in jail. The justice system needs crime on the streets to justify their useless existence.

        If you doubt my use of the term “useless” check out how infinitely more effective this for-profit private security company reduces crime on the streets and neighborhoods. Link here and here.

      3. avatar Caveman says:

        Funny you should say that. In 81 had buglar steal my firearms, cash n some records. I was pretty sure he d be back, it was his m.o. of the places he d robbed befor, I told the LEO taking the report I had a rebar I was goin to .whack him with, the next time” LEO told me “get a shtgun and kill him, you wind up hurting him your just goin to get sued.”.. lol, caught him in a parking lot one nite, hit him with my car n fckd him up with a baseball bat. He didnt say nuthn to no police

  15. avatar Jaffas says:

    I don’t believe I would have tried as hard as he did to diffuse the attack.
    One warning then….especially if they went for my wife. If possible…end of a bad choice for them immediately.
    He is a better man than I and I am not being sarcastic.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      Explosives and metaphorically explosive situations are “defused”. Fogs are “diffused”. Just one of my pet peeves. Sounds like the guy did pretty well, in any event; he used his gun when he had to, and the extra effort to avoid doing so will only help him now.

  16. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    +1 to that.

  17. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    On a serious note, would a compact .45’s short barrel reduce muzzle velocity so much as to greatly reduce the terminal ballistics at contact range? A full size pistol with a 5 inch barrel only generates around 840 fps at the muzzle with 230 grain bullets. According to Ballistics By The Inch a 3 inch barrel would decrease muzzle velocity to something like 750 fps. Does that reduction in velocity make that much of a difference? Could that explain why these two young attackers simply walked away?

    1. Uncommon_sense:

      Energy = Mass * Velocity ^2

      In other words, if you’re purely concerned with theoretical energy transfer then changing the velocity is much more significant than changing the mass.

      Now, I’m not a ballistic guru by any means, but energy clearly is a factor in survivability… So a reduction in muzzle velocity may (based purely on energy imparted) increase survivability more than reducing the bullet size/weight would do.

      In other words, a 9mm may well turn out to be more lethal than a .45

      The knock-down argument… Well that exceeds my very basic physics – but my feeling is that shot placement is the key factor in determining immediate end of threat. Not that it’s necessarily easy.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      At such low velocities, all the bullets do is create a wound channel for bleeding purposes so energy basically doesn’t matter. Momentum and cutting area are what really count.

      At the slower velocities, I have also wondered if there is an element of the bullet’s terminal ballistics akin to blunt force trauma. Imagine a 1 inch diameter steel ball bearing striking a person in the chest at a measly 120 mph (176 fps) … that would produce a nasty impact/shock to someone’s body and even though it would not penetrate the skin. I have wondered if the relatively slow, heavy, and large .45 caliber bullets have a similar effect … and if they do I wonder how rapidly that effect rolls off below 840 fps.

    3. avatar Stuki Moi says:

      Depending on the ammo used, the bullet may not have expanded properly at those low velocities. The latest and greatest bullets will “probably” expand; I was initially surprised to learn the short barrel Gold Dot is a 230 rather than a lighter one, but I’d still rather shoot a 185-200 out of a sub 4.5 inch .45.

      We live in a 9/.40 world. 1000-1200 ft/s at muzzle is where most research is conducted, as that is where most 5+million round contracts are won or lost. 185 grain .45s get there even out of shorter barrels.

  18. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Youts huh? I had a wife and a kid at that age. I’m proud of you Sal!

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Same here.

      Also had an apartment, two vehicles, and one deployment under my belt. Funny what passes for kids nowadays – I say this being in my 30’s, which seems ridiculous.

      But, I don’t remember anyone calling me a kid or youth at 20-22. Then again, I wasn’t acting like one, either.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Yep. Boot camp at 17. Wife and kid and 2 jobs at 22 so the wife could stay home with the kid.

        Now they still live at home with their moms when they’re 30.

  19. avatar jwm says:

    Aroundhis neighberhood he’s no longer known as Old Sal. It’s Mr. Sal now.

  20. avatar Anonymous says:

    Sal should have been TTAGs “gun hero of the day.”

  21. avatar James69 says:

    I know what happened. The yoots were wearing those damm chinese made frozen coats. ——Most prob old sal was using ball ammo.

  22. avatar wrightl3 says:

    Glad Sal and his wife are ok. Maybe next time the thugs won’t mess with anyone.

    1. avatar Bob R says:

      Physically OK, I guess. We don’t know about their psychological health right now, I’m sure that was an extremely traumatic event for them. It could take a long time for that to heal, and the psychological trauma could have very detrimental effects on their physical health at that age.

  23. avatar Bob R says:

    Pack heat. Check
    Defend self. Check
    Call clean-up crew (police). Check
    STFU. Check
    Get a good lawyer. Check

    Well done.

  24. avatar Caveman says:

    I think age tempers ones ability to harm. I kno it has for me, sht, I just about cry when I accidently run over a possum. A life of burying friends, parents uncles,aunts n wife, kinda took the steam outta killin stuff. I dont hunt no more, throw most of the fish I catch back in, I would just hate to have to harm someone Old Sal wasnt joking when he said,” I hope them kids are allright”, I salute u Sal.

    1. avatar =BCE56= says:

      As I am now past middle age and no longer as spry as I once was, I notice a similar change. My interest in firearms remains undiminished. But I am less outspoken and more cautious, and have little interest in hunting these days.
      I think more about consequences than formerly.
      I hope this will not affect my actions if the need arises.

      The older I get, the smarter my Old Man gets…

  25. I home carry. Why not? It’s about the only place it’s 100% legal without big brother’s permission.
    This morning, as every workday, I open my garage door and scan for critters that may be hanging around in the darkness, be they four legged or bipedal.
    This thought hit me as the perfect retort to the oft asked “why are you carrying a gun?” Answer: “That’s the same question a mugger asks right after being shot”.

  26. avatar Kap says:

    couple of the hood members itching to prove their manhood by getting a supposed feeble old couple! too bad the old man could not double tap!

  27. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

    In Philly? I’m shocked.

  28. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    I was taught to shoot using double taps. I shot USPSA/IPSC for 20yrs shooting double taps. Now they are teaching shoot until the threat is neutralized. Empty the mag and have a spare to reload. I dont think these yoots would have been walking with center mass double taps unless they were high as a Georgia pine.

  29. avatar Bill B says:

    I’d be curious to know how many rounds Sal actually fired. Don’t get me wrong, I stand by his actions 110%. What I’m wondering is whether he had the presence of mind to stop firing after the threat was removed, or whether he emptied his clipazine thingy.

    When it comes to defending myself, or more importantly, a loved one, in a situation like that it’s not unrealsitic to think I’ll be pulling the trigger until the slide locks back. (Though, dropping the first mag and reloading MIGHT be considered excessive use of force by some in the law enforcement and legal community /sarc)

    Also, the video shows one of the yoots sitting down in front of a bar and seemingly checking his stomach. I’d like to believe he’s also checking how full his shorts are.

    I commend you, Sal.

    1. avatar Sammy^ says:

      2 shots were fired.

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