Saturday, November 22, 2014
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Cops: Suspect shot dead by police during shootout in Kensington

A suspect was dead in Kensington Wednesday night after police say he engaged in a gun battle with two officers when they approached him.

Cops: Suspect shot dead by police during shootout in Kensington

This post has been updated.

A suspect was dead in Kensington Wednesday night after police say he engaged in a gun battle with two officers when they approached him.

Police said officers were called to E Street near Ontario shortly after 7:30 p.m. for a domestic disturbance in which a man pointed a gun at a woman and her son. When two officers arrived, they spotted the suspect driving an SUV on Ontario Street near E, according to investigators.

That’s when cops say the man pulled a revolver on the officers and fired several shots, prompting both officers to draw their own guns and return fire. Chief Inspector Scott Small said the man then turned his SUV onto E Street from Ontario and reversed at the corner, taking down a street sign and damaging a corner store before he again drew the revolver and let off several more shots at the cops.

The officers again returned fire at the man. He was hit several times in the upper torso, Small said, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:42 p.m. Police said they recovered the suspect's Ruger revolver with an extended, 8-inch barrel at the scene next to his body.

The suspect remained unidentified Wednesday night, but investigators said they believe he's a man in his 50s who lives in the neighborhood. Cops said he knows the woman and boy he initially pulled the gun on, but they're unsure of his relationship to the two.

"Preliminarily, it looks like a justifiable shooting," Small said. "He not only pointed a weapon at innocent civilians but also fired at police."

Private surveillance cameras outside two corner grocery stores at E and Ontario captured part of the shootout, police said, and investigators were reviewing the tapes as they investigated the shooting.

Small said a few witnesses were taken to the Homicide Unit to be interviewed.

All in all, according to cops, more than 30 shots were fired by both the suspect and police during the shootout. No officers or civilians were injured, Small said.

"It's a highly residential area," he said. "Fortunately, gunfire didn't strike any civilians."

In the immediate aftermath of the gun battle, dozens of neighbors, including several young children, milled around the scene, watching from the other side of the yellow tape as police used chalk to mark more than 20 shell casings littering the street.

As is protocol with police-involved shootings, both officers who fired their weapons were taken to Internal Affairs to be interviewed. The incident remained under investigation late Wednesday night.

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

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