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Friendly banter in the Falah Barbershop in West Philadelphia suddenly dissolved into something more serious when a barber and a customer got into a heated argument.

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The 40-year-old customer “obtained a firearm from a drawer,” said Officer Christine O’Brien, a police spokeswoman. “A struggle ensued,” she added. “Shots were fired and the employee dove to the floor.”

Several customers, including a few children, witnessed the mayhem. A man, age 26, drew his own .40-caliber pistol and fired several times at the gunman, hitting him in the chest. Police responded to a “person with a gun” call at the barbershop. They put the wounded man in their patrol car and rushed him to the hospital, but he could not be saved.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old customer left the barbershop and went to a police station where he identified himself and explained what happened, O’Brien said. She noted that the man was licensed to carry his gun.

“He responded,” Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Llewellyn told NBC Channel 10, “and I guess he saved a lot of people in there.”

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