The clerk who was shot in the back after struggling with an intruder last weekend in a Center City adult bookstore said Tuesday that he is the victim of a "hate crime" and the shop was targeted because it caters to a gay clientele.
“He said he’s ‘not with that gay s---’ and then walked out at first,” Kevyn Mines, 31, said of when he first encountered an intruder while working the late-night cashier's shift at Danny’s Midnight Confessions.
“It was a little after 3 a.m. last Saturday night, before he came back in and asked for ‘straight porn,’ when he shot me in the back.”
Mines, a black openly gay North Philadelphian who said his job at the premier adult novelty store located in The Gayborhood was “fun work,” claimed that it was not a robbery on July 18, and that the man police described as “black, between 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-9, with a thin build” did not request any cash on site.
“I had a co-worker who as nearby counting money … it was clear after the homophobic slur that he wasn’t looking for cash,” Mines said.
“When you walk in a store and make it known that you want 'straight' things vs. 'gay things' then it’s clear you are focused on sexual orientation.”
Mines is currently on a doctor-ordered six-week bed rest at his residence in North Philadelphia. He was initially shot in the back while in the struggle with the suspect. The bullet entered his back, went through the bottom of his spine and into his pelvic bone, where it is permanently lodged, he said.
“The doctors at Jefferson said that if the bullet would have moved more on the left or right side -- I would be paralyzed right now,” Mines said.
He currently has sharp pain in his lower body in addition to trouble walking.
Currently Mines, who is also a Penn employee who recruits people for HIV clinical studies, is receiving worker’s compensation from both his employers, as well as moral support, he said.
A manager at Danny’s had no comment or statement regarding the case.
However, local media have framed the incident as a robbery. NBC 10 reported that the crime was "an apparent attempted robbery."
Mines “adamantly disagrees," he said.
“It frustrates me that no one has tried to call it … a hate crime,” Mines said. “The news keeps trying to act like it was an armed robbery when no money was attempted to be stolen at gunpoint.”
“Based on the information currently provided, it looks like it was motivated by a hate crime," said Philadelphia Police Department public information officer Leeloni Palmiero.
“The negative remark about the victim’s sexual orientation is a strong indication,” Palmiero said.
Prosecutors said it's too early to make a determination about charging the suspect with a hate crime.
“Currently we are waiting for the police department to give us more information to see if this could in fact be a hate crime,” said Philadelphia D.A.'s Office spokesman Cameron Kline. “Right now they have not found the suspect and we are still waiting for more details.”
Mines is working on recovering and “blessed to be alive given all the recent shootings in Philly this summer.”
“I’m grateful to be still here … I just want justice to prevail right now,” Mines said.