Police kill man with knife; is 3d death in a week

Posted: May 26, 2013

For the third time in one week, Philadelphia police shot and killed a man, this time early Saturday in the Northeast.

One other man was shot by police and injured.

In Saturday's death, someone reported that a 23-year-old man, whose name was not released, was wielding a knife about 7 a.m. Police responded at the 1400 block of East Robbins Street, in the city's Oxford Circle section, to find him in the street with the knife in his hand.

Officers knocked him down, using the bumper of the police cruiser, then got out and told him to drop the weapon, according to Lt. John Stanford. When the man did not comply, they used pepper spray on him, but it had no effect. When he ran at the officers, they shot him, Stanford said. It took three officers to get the man to let go of the knife, Stanford said.

Witnesses on the scene confirmed the officers' account, Stanford said. The man was taken to Aria Hospital-Torresdale in critical condition but later died of his injuries.

The confrontation capped a turbulent week for Philadelphia police, who have shot four people since Wednesday.

There had been 18 police-involved shootings so far this year as of Friday. For the same period in 2012, there were 28 police-involved shootings, police data show.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey was not available for comment Saturday but last week told reporters that he takes police-involved shootings seriously. All shootings are given a thorough review by the Internal Affairs bureau, and all officers who are involved are taken off the street until those investigations are complete.

"Anytime you take a life, there's nothing more serious than that," Ramsey told 6ABC News on Friday. Ramsey was reported out of town Saturday.

Earlier Saturday morning, police arrested a man who allegedly fired shots at officers in North Philadelphia.

No one was injured in that incident, in which police were called to the 900 block of West Silver Street about 1:30 a.m. when several family members got into a fight and one drew a gun. When officers arrived, the man fired at them through his door. The man was arrested, but his name was not made immediately available.

On Thursday, police shot and injured a 21-year-old man in North Philadelphia after they said he ran at them with a gun in his hand. The man, whose name has not been released, was shot five times near the corner of 24th and Oxford Streets and was listed in stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital. A gun was recovered from the scene.

On Wednesday, police shot and killed two men in separate incidents within several hours of each other.

At 6:30 p.m., police shot and killed a man they said had threatened them with a gun in the 5600 block of Wyalusing Avenue in West Philadelphia.

Then, at 8:45, police responded to the 5500 block of Devon Street in East Germantown to a report of a pit bull that had attacked someone. Police said a man at the scene pointed a weapon at an officer, and the officer shot him.

A witness in the area said that when police pulled up, a group of men started running and officers gave chase. She said that when one man tripped over a garbage bag on the street and fell, an officer shot him. She said she did not see the man carrying a gun.

Police said that both men had weapons and that they recovered them.


Contact Allison Steele

at 610-313-8113 or asteele@phillynews.com.

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman contributed to this article.

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