A wanted man who had four kids and a woman in his van when he ran over a Philadelphia police officer in Kingsessing on Wednesday died after being shot by police in both Philadelphia and Delaware, where he fled following the initial incident, authorities said.
The man, 28, whose identity was not released, was wanted on an unspecified warrant and was reported to have a gun when officers approached him as he was getting into a Dodge Caravan on the 5600 block of Whitby Avenue around 5:39 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
In a news release, Philadelphia police said the two responding officers saw a 26-year-old woman in the driver's seat of the van, but did not see the four children, ages 2 to 6, who were in the rear seat.
When the officers tried to stop the man from driving away, he put the van in reverse and hit one of them, police said. That officer, who sustained minor injuries, told authorities he saw the suspect reach under his seat, so the officer pulled his own gun and shot at the man, striking him in the left side, police said.
Philadelphia Police Department policy generally prohibits officers from shooting at a car unless they are in imminent danger of death "by means other than the vehicle."
With all five passengers in tow, the man drove off, hitting a Dodge Neon before reaching Island Avenue and Lindbergh Boulevard in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia, police said.
The van broke down there, and the man stole an unoccupied Dodge Avenger that was parked and running on the 7600 block of Lindbergh Boulevard, according to police. The bleeding man ushered the four children and the woman into the stolen vehicle and drove 20 miles to the 100 block of Carriage Way in New Castle, Del., according to police.
There, New Castle County police said, they located the man around 7:45 p.m., but when an officer tried to stop him, the two began struggling and the officer shot him once.
Still, even two bullet wounds from two cops in two states didn't stop the man, police said. He got into a vehicle, but was only able to make it a short distance before the car stopped in an apartment complex. Officers took the man to Christiana Medical Center in Newark, where he was pronounced dead.
A New Castle County Police spokeswoman, Cpl. Tracey Duffy, said the children were safe with a parent or guardian, and the woman was not in their custody. Neither she nor Philadelphia police provided further details, but the children and woman are not thought to have been injured.
Both officers who shot the man will be placed on desk duty pending investigations, police said.
Staff writer Chris Palmer contributed to this report.