A Philly cop fatally wounded a gun-toting robbery suspect in Kensington Thursday night in a scene eerily similar to the events that led to Officer John Pawlowski’s death, police said.
The dramatic encounter began about 10:35 p.m., minutes after Pawlowski’s viewing had ended, when a man flagged down two officers on Allegheny Avenue near Somerset Street and claimed he had just been robbed and assaulted, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.
The victim described his attacker as a 30-year-old white man who wore a black hat and white jacket. Soon after, the officers spotted a person matching that description at Kensington and Allegheny, Vanore said.
One cop jumped out of his wagon and approached the man, who took off running. The cops chased the man to Hilton Street near G and found themselves nearly re-enacting the moments before Pawlowski’s slaying, Vanore said.
“They asked him repeatedly to remove his hands from his pockets, which he did not,” Vanore said.
Instead, the suspect inched toward the officers and suddenly removed a .380-caliber handgun from his pocket. Vanore said one of the officers opened fire, striking the suspect once.
The suspect, whose name was not released, was taken to Temple University Hospital. He died about 1:30 a.m. today, Vanore said.
“It was similar to what happened to Officer Pawlowski,” Vanore said. “Luckily, they came out on top this time.”
Neither of the officers, who work in the 24th District, headquartered on Whitaker Avenue near Erie, were injured. The incident will be investigated by police Internal Affairs , as is standard practice when officers fire their weapons.
Pawlowski, 25, was shot and killed Feb. 13 when he and his partner, Officer Mark Klein, responded to a 9-1-1 call in Logan from a “hack” cabbie who claimed he had been assaulted and harassed by a man later identified as Rasheed Scruggs. Pawlowski and his partner told Scruggs to remove his hands from his jacket pockets several times. Instead, police said, Scruggs squeezed the trigger of a .357 Magnum that he had tucked inside one of his pockets. A bullet struck Pawlowski just above his bullet-proof vest.
Scruggs, 33, was wounded during an ensuing shootout with police. He is recovering in police custody at Albert Einstein Medical Center.
Pawlowski, a five-year veteran who was expecting his first child, was laid to rest earlier today. He was the seventh officer killed in the line of duty since May 2006.