PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia police officer shot and killed a suspect on the 1900 block of Hart Lane in the city’s Kensington neighborhood, authorities said Thursday. It happened just before 1:30 p.m.
The owner of an SUV was left cleaning out the shattered glass, collateral damage after Philadelphia police officers opened fire on a suspect armed with a handgun on Thursday.
But what led up to the deadly shooting was quite the scene, according to Mitch Williams, who says he witnessed what took place at the corner of Jasper Street and Hart Lane in Kensington on Thursday afternoon.
“His gun was drawn, where it was noticeable. You could see it,” Williams said. “He had it like, clutch.”
That’s when police say the suspect, a 39-year-old man, fired at least two rounds during a foot chase with police.
“Shortly after the officer exited his vehicle, that male produced his handgun and fired at least two shots in the direction of our officer,” Sgt. Eric Gripp said. “Our officer returned fire, firing at least two times and struck that male. The male was transported to Temple University Hospital by a responding 24th District police officer where unfortunately he was pronounced dead a short time later.”
Let’s back up a few minutes to about 1:27 p.m. on Thursday. Two officers in an unmarked white Sedan pulled up to a red Mustang stopped in the middle of an intersection.
“The officers honked their horn, attempted to get them to move along,” Williams said. “It wasn’t happening.”
When the two cops went up to the driver, they saw him armed with a handgun and then the suspect sped off. The officers chased the red Mustang until he wrecked the car in the area of Ruth and Somerset Streets. Then on foot, moments later, Williams was watching the final moments of this quick but deadly interaction.
“This like Grand Theft Auto,” Williams said. “It was like a movie scene. I was waiting for somebody to say, ‘cut.’”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, “The decision to utilize deadly force is one of the most difficult decisions that a police officer can make. These decisions, often made in a split second of time, lead to life changing consequences for those involved. The public has my assurance that the Officer Involved Shootings Investigations Unit will conduct a fair and thorough investigation into this fatal officer discharge. At the completion of their investigation, the Officer Involved Shootings Investigations Unit will present their findings to the District Attorney’s Office.”
An investigation will be conducted into the shooting. Police said there is surveillance video from the area as well as bodycam footage.
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