Police: Would-be robber was carrying BB gun when shot by store employee

A would-be robber was carrying a BB gun when an employee shot him Friday morning at a South Side restaurant, according to a criminal complaint.

The incident was reported just before 8 a.m. at the Subway restaurant in the 2700 block of East Carson Street. Authorities said 47-year-old Calvin Leon Smith entered the Subway, showed what appeared to be a real gun and demanded money.

One of two Subway employees told officers that he had felt threatened and had fired several shots with a 9 mm Glock, striking Smith at least once in the chest.

“One of the employees who has a concealed-carry permit and has a firearm apparently felt threatened for him and the other employees in the store, and shot the actor at least once,” Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Emily Schaffer said.

A storefront window was broken during the incident, and Smith crawled out through the window, police said. A female employee who was hiding in a cooler told police she heard three shots, then she went out a back door and around to the front, where she saw Smith running away.

Smith fled down South 28th Street, where a man and woman in a Mercedes Benz picked him up, authorities said. The couple dropped Smith off at Allegheny General Hospital.

A state trooper in the area noticed the car parked in front of a home in the 800 block of Lovitt Way on Pittsburgh’s North Side, which then prompted a SWAT situation.

According to a criminal complaint, the man gave Smith a ride to the South Side and, when Smith returned to the car, he had been shot. The couple told police they didn’t know Smith was going to the South Side to commit a robbery and said that Smith called someone on the way to Allegheny General Hospital, saying he’d been shot.
Smith was in serious condition Friday night with gunshot wounds to the chest, neck and abdomen.
Both Subway employees identified Smith from a police photo array. An arrest warrant was issued for him on charges of robbery and possessing instruments of crime.
Neighbors on Carson Street said they’re on high alert. John Parker Sr., who manages Asian Fusion Bowl, which is next door to the Subway, said he knows the man who shot the suspect and will be checking in with him.
“He’s a great employee. He has been there for over five years,” Parker said. “I am going to go over there and give him my positive thoughts and words of encouragement.”
Parker said, in light of the incident, his restaurant employees and other businesses along Carson Street will be making sure they are keeping a close eye out for anything suspicious, especially around the holidays.
“Nothing really happens here and we are a new business,” Parker said. “It does put us on alert.”