Off-Duty Shooting Officer Investigated for Several Complaints

The off-duty police officer who fatally shot a young man involved in a fight with his son Saturday night has been investigated several times after complaints were filed against him by citizens, according to The Daily News.

And in two of those cases, the off-duty officer (who police have not identified, but who neighbors identify as Frank Tepper)  was "seeking retribution for his family members while he was off duty," the Daily News reports.

Three complaints (including the two family-related incidents) accused Tepper of using excessive force.

The civil affairs officer was either exonerated or the accusations deemed "unfounded" in those investigations. Internal Affairs investigators did note that the officer's behavior was "unprofessional" at times and violated the department's policy on conduct.

Tepper's accused of shooting Billy Panas, 21, after a fight that started in Tepper's house Saturday night between his son and Panas, turned into a street brawl involving at least 20 people.

Witnesses say Tepper pulled out a gun (his personal revolver) and shot Panas.

One witness, Roman Flores, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the off-duty officer pulled the gun, aimed it wildly, chased everyone off the street. Panas stopped and said, "Come on, you're not gonna shoot me."

Flores, 15, said the off-duty officer's response was, "Oh yeah?"

Panas was shot in the chest and died a short time later at the hospital.

The official police account right now of what happened is that Tepper was jumped during the ruckus and that made his gun go off.

The officer was put on desk duty while internal affairs investigates. Police were guarding his home around the clock after two death threats were made against the civil affairs unit on Monday.

Get More: The Daily News

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