Misunderstanding May Have Led To Police-Involved Shooting

By Jenn Bernstein and Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two plain-clothes officers in an unmarked car responded to 51st Street and Baltimore Avenue for the report of gunshots late Tuesday night.

When the officers approached 51st Street and Willows Avenue, they observed a male wearing a hoodie and his hands in his pockets.

Deputy police commissioner Richard Ross says the officers announced that they were cops.

“As I understand it, they asked the male to stop. The male, in quick fashion, got in his car and he drove at a high rate of speed towards the officers. The officers then discharged out of fear for their lives.”

Ross said the male was struck at least three times. The male, later  identified as 20-year-old Philippe Holland —
was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is listed in critical condition.

“We are getting information that he is a pizza deliveryman, so it is a possibility he may have thought he was being robbed. We do know the police officers announced themselves as police officers, he may not have heard that. Again, what I stress is this is all preliminary at this point,” Ross explained.

“It may just be an unfortunate set of circumstances all the way around, but again, I stress that’s preliminary information at this time,” Ross said.

Ross says there were quite a few shots fired by police, but he didn’t give an exact number. Sources say at least 10 shots were fired into the car.

“The officers, however, at no time said they saw a gun,” Ross said.

When asked about the incident Mayor Michael Nutter said, “We will figure out why this happened and what happened. I think the most important focus should be on the recovery of the individual and then we will sort through all of the facts as best we can.”

The two officers are on desk duty pending the results of the internal affairs investigation.

The shooting remains under investigation.

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