Police critically wound three in separate shootings

Charles Ramsey: Asked indepdendent group to examine policy on police shootings.
Charles Ramsey: Asked indepdendent group to examine policy on police shootings.
Posted: May 31, 2013

POLICE FOUND themselves in three more gunbattles across the city yesterday - a day after a report emerged that Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has called for an independent review of police-involved shootings.

In the most recent, police in Germantown last night around 10 p.m. were called to Wayne Avenue near Berkeley Street for a shooting and encountered a gunman there, according to police sources. When cops arrived, they encountered the suspect, who refused to drop his weapon, prompting an officer to fire at him, wounding him several times. That suspect, whose identity and age were unknown late last night, was pronounced dead at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

A 2-year-old boy also suffered a graze wound to the head in the incident, police said. Officials said they were unsure whether the child, who was in stable condition last night at Einstein, was wounded by the suspect's gunfire or caught in the cross-fire from the responding officers.

The shooting remains under investigation, and police said the suspect's gun was recovered at the scene.

Less than 12 hours before that shooting, police said officers responding to a call for a person with a gun encountered an armed man on 4th Street near York shortly after 10:30 a.m. The officers spotted the man there, running from another cop. As officers chased the suspect, he allegedly turned and pointed a gun at one of them. An officer fired, striking the suspect once in the back and once in the buttocks.

The suspect, whose identity was not released, was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. Police said a gun was recovered at the scene.

Shortly after 3 p.m. in Kingsessing, police said officers responded to a shooting on Frazier Street near Chester Avenue and later encountered the 19-year-old male suspect a few blocks away near 53rd and Greenway. The suspect immediately shot at them, police said. The officers returned fire, striking him multiple times in the face and body.

The suspect was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in critical condition. Police said a silver handgun was recovered from the suspect.

"The officers out here are doing a tough job," Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright told reporters at the scene. "They're asked to make split-second decisions."

The initial shooting victim from that incident, a 50-year-old man, was also taken to HUP, in stable condition.

No officers were injured in the shootings. All three incidents are under investigation.

The rash of shootings marks seven by Philadelphia police in the past week and brings this year's total to 22. Last year, police-involved shootings rose nearly 50 percent to 52 shootings. That number marks a 10-year high.

Ramsey said he has asked an independent group to review the department's policies, training and procedures regarding police-related shootings - similar to reviews conducted in Las Vegas and New York City.

Civil rights attorney Paul Messing said the review is needed.

"We've been watching the numbers and have been growing very concerned," Messing said. "We're certainly pleased that the Commissioner has taken the step of involving the [independent group] and we hope that the department moves quickly to address the problem.".


On Twitter: @ChroniclesofSol

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