NBCPhiladelphia.com - Rosemary Connors
Two SEPTA police officers shot a man who was swinging a knife in a crowded 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, Pa., police said. The man was arrested. NBC10's Rosemary Connors talked to police and travelers who described a chaotic scene.
SEPTA says that two of its officers shot a man tonight after he pulled a knife on the officer at the 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby.
"The cops were yelling get down, everyone just got down.. it was frightening," said witness Kalinardo Charles.
The incident happened just after 8 p.m. when a 55-year-old man began swinging a knife at two SEPTA officers, according to Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
"Several times he was asked to drop the knife, he refused to drop the knife."
One of the officers fired once while the other fired three times, Chitwood said.
A preliminary report says that the man was hit in the shoulder and grazed on his side, police said.
The man was hospitalized in stable condition. The officers weren’t harmed, SEPTA said.
Chitwood said he believed that the officers acted appropriately.
For about three hours the terminal remained closed as shuttle buses ran between 63rd and 69th on the Market/Frankford El.
The shooting left one of the front windows of the terminal shattered.
The motive wasn't clear but Chitwood had a theory.
"One of the statements that the guy made as he was being taken out on a stretcher, he wished they had have shot him in the heart. So this could be a suicide by cop."
Attacks do happen on SEPTA employees. The authority tells NBC10 that 78 operators were assaulted and 19 arrests were made from Jan. 1, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013 -- spitting was the most common assault. Of course, this alleged attack involved SEPTA cops not operators.