A man killed by Philadelphia police gunfire Thursday allegedly fired seven shots at two officers in South Philadelphia after he ran from officers who had tried to stop him as he rode his bicycle the wrong way down a street, according to authorities.
Neither officer was hit, but Charles Meadows, 48, was fatally wounded when he encountered two other officers in a patrol car a few blocks away, police said in a news release Friday. Those officers fired through the window of their cruiser, at 20th Street and Snyder Avenue, fatally striking Meadows in the groin and arms, police said.
The details offered in the news release provide a more complete picture of the second incident this week in which city police officers fatally shot someone. It was the third time in 2018 someone has been killed by police gunfire, according to department statistics.
Thursday’s incident began around 11 a.m., police said, when two officers patrolling the area around the 2000 block of McKean Street saw Meadows riding his bicycle the wrong way on that block. The officers tried to stop him, police said, but Meadows dropped his bike and began running.
One of the officers chased after Meadows, police said, and drew his firearm when he noticed Meadows holding something under his shirt. Meadows fell to the ground and dropped his .40-caliber handgun, police said. The officer giving chase told Meadows not to pick it up, police said, but he grabbed the gun and began firing at the officers pursuing him.
Meadows then got up and ran while continuing to shoot, police said, and the officers returned fire. Police said Meadows had fired seven shots but did not strike either officer. Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, police spokesperson, said both officers fired back several times but that ballistics work was still being completed to determine how many shots each officer fired.
Meadows ran south on 20th and, at Snyder Avenue, encountered two other officers driving eastbound in their patrol car, police said. Although police on Thursday said Meadows had exchanged shots with those officers, on Friday they said he pointed his gun at the patrol car but did not shoot.
The two officers in the car began shooting through the windshield and struck Meadows several times, police said. Police did not specify how many times the officers shot, but news photos from the scene show at least 10 bullet holes in the car’s windshield.
Meadows was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Kinebrew said that Meadows did not have a permit to carry a gun, and that the weapon he used Thursday had previously been reported lost in Upper Darby.
Police did not identify any of the officers involved.
The shooting remains under investigation, police said. Under department protocol, officers who fire their weapons are placed on administrative duty until an investigation is complete.
Court records show that Meadows was sentenced in 2011 to 11½ to 23 months in prison after being convicted of a drug-related offense.