A Philadelphia police officer shot and killed a man who allegedly fired at him after fleeing a traffic stop and crashing into a church in the city's Kensington neighborhood on Thursday.
At 1:27 p.m., two 24th district officers in an unmarked vehicle spotted a red Ford Mustang that was parked at the intersection of B and Stella streets. The officers honked and told the driver to move along but received no response.
The officers then approached the vehicle and spotted a 39-year-old man inside with a gun in his hand, investigators said. The man, who investigators said appeared to be startled by the officers, then sped off.
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The officers pursued and the man crashed into a church at Ruth and Somerset streets a short time later. He then fled on foot, police said.
One of the officers checked the Ford Mustang while the second officer continued driving after the suspect. The officer then found the man at Jasper and Hart streets and approached him on foot.
Police said the man fired two shots at the officer. The officer fired back, shooting the man at least twice, according to investigators.
The man was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Police have not yet revealed the man’s identity and continue to investigate the incident.
“The decision to utilize deadly force is not one that we take lightly,” Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said. “At a moment’s notice an officer can be called upon to do so. We want to assure the public that we’re going to do a complete and thorough investigation.”
Police said they have body cam footage of the shooting but have not yet revealed whether or not they will release it.
“The decision to utilize deadly force is one of the most difficult decisions that a police officer can make” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. “These decisions, often made in a split second of time, lead to life changing consequences for those involved.
The officers were not injured.
“The public has my assurance that the Officer Involved Shootings Investigations Unit will conduct a fair and thorough investigation,” Outlaw said.
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.