Police shot and killed a man on a West Philadelphia street after screaming at him to throw his knife.
It happened around 3:50 PM. When the officers responded to a local call along number 6100 of Locust Street.
Sgt. Eric Gripp, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department, says officers encountered a man with a knife at the scene. Gharib said that the man was shot multiple times by two officers after he failed to abide by calls to drop the weapon. He was later pronounced dead.
The neighbors recognized the man as Walter Wallace.
A video clip of the deadly confrontation recorded by a passer-by and posted on social media shows officers pointing their weapons at a man as he was walking on the street and around a car. The man walks towards the officers as they turn away from him on the street, still shotguns at him.
An officer can be heard saying, “Put the knife aside, take the knife down.”
Then the two shot the man several times, and he collapsed in the street. A woman ran towards the victim and started screaming. Then a number of bystanders advanced towards the man who was hit by a bullet.
It was not clear in the video whether the man was carrying a knife. Witnesses said he was carrying one.
At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene. Witnesses and neighbors want to know why less lethal force should not be used.
“You could have pulled an electric bolt. You could have shot him in the leg,” said Jada Hilton.
A group of residents took to the streets to protest the death of Wallace. Officers were also seen living in the vicinity of the Eighteenth District Police Station.
Police cars and garbage cans were later set ablaze as police struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many of them wielding batons, formed a column as they ran down 52nd Street chasing protesters away from the main road.
Action Cam also captured video of shattered windows and vandalized vehicles along 52nd and Pine Streets. The group is also believed to be responsible for breaking windows in a number of buildings, including a police station and Starbucks in the university city.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Daniel Outlaw said the video raised questions, but assured the community that a full investigation was underway.
“The investigation unit has directed the officer involved in the shooting to start the investigation. I realize that the video clip of the incident raises many questions. Residents assure that these questions will be fully addressed through the investigation. While I was at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community. It will be affected.” “Everyone is forever concerned. I will rely on what the investigation brings to answer the many unanswered questions. I also plan to join the mayor in meeting with community members and members of Mr. Wallace’s family to hear their concerns as soon as they can be determined.”
The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately revealed. Both wore body cameras and were taken from duty on the street pending an investigation.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5 President John McNesby expressed support for the officers involved.
“Our police officers are denigrated this evening for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after a man confronts them with a knife. We support and defend these officers, because they have been traumatized by being involved in a deadly shooting. The facts of this tragic accident in West Philadelphia today. “
A large crowd gathered as the man was killed, with a video recording showing the police screaming and crying. Some people later spoke with Outlaw, who arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting.
My prayers are with Walter Wallace’s family and friends. I’ve watched the video of this tragic incident asking tough questions to be answered. Tonight I’ve spoken with Mr. Wallace’s family, and I will continue to reach out to hear them. Mayor Jim Kenny said after the shooting: “It’s all directly involved. And answer their questions as much as I can. “
Officials said that an officer was taken to hospital with a broken leg and other injuries after he was hit by a pickup truck near 52 and Walnut Streets at around 12:45 a.m.
Police said an additional 29 officers sought treatment in district hospitals for injuries, most of them hit by debris. All of these officers were reportedly treated and released.
More than 30 people were arrested, with several arrests reported as of the morning.