Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Man runs from police, fatally shot in West Philadelphia

A chaotic scene unfolded in West Philadelphia early Thursday night after police say a man ran on foot from cops during a car stop and was eventually shot to death by police after the pursuit.

Man runs from police, fatally shot in West Philadelphia

This post has been updated:

A violent one-on-one struggle in a narrow alleyway between a cop and a man who fled a car stop in West Philadelphia Thursday night led the officer to shoot and kill the man, police said.

Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers gave the following account of how the events unfolded:

Cops pulled over a tan vehicle occupied by three men at 56th and Walton streets at 6:26 p.m. and were investigating the men when the man in the passenger seat bailed out of the car and took off running westbound down a three-foot-wide alley between Cedar Avenue and Pemberton Street.

A cop chased the man and caught up with him at a dead end in the narrow, trash-strewn alley and a "violent struggle" ensued, Evers said. Based on preliminary investigation, police said, it appeared that the cop tried to hit the man with his asp but dropped it during the struggle.

Evers said the man also attempted to get a hold of the cop's Taser, and eventually the cop fired three times, hitting the man twice in the chest. The man, who is estimated to be in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:48 p.m.

Police said the driver of the car took off, but the man who was sitting in the backseat at the time of the stop was taken to be interviewed.

They were still looking for the tan car that fled later Wednesday night.

As is protocol with police-involved shootings, the firing officer was taken to be interviewed at the Internal Affairs Bureau. Evers said he suffered scrapes and bruises but was not badly injured. 

It appears that the man shot was not armed with a gun at the time, Evers said, but police were checking the area for any weapons that may have been discarded.

A chaotic scene erupted in the immediate aftermath of the shooting as neighbors -- some expressing outrage over the police shooting -- gathered to watch as cops scoured the area and firefighters checked the roof of a building at 56th and Pemberton.

About two dozen neighbors crowded the yellow crime-scene tape, a few shouting that police shouldn't have shot the man. A few people in the group, however, told a Daily News reporter they didn't see what transpired.

"If I saw it, I would have told you, trust me," one man said, shaking his head.

Police remained at the scene investigating as night fell around 8 p.m.

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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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