Off-Duty Officer's Deadly Shooting of Robbery Suspect was Justified: Police

The deadly shooting of a robbery suspect by an off-duty Philadelphia SWAT officer Saturday afternoon was justified, investigators said Sunday morning.

The off-duty officer thwarted a robbery of an elderly man by shooting the suspect, police said.

The events unfolded about 2:30 p.m. Saturday when police say a man in his mid to late 20s was robbing the senior citizen on the 5700 block of Park Avenue, in the Fern Rock neighborhood. The SWAT officer, who was off-duty at the time, witnessed the robbery and told the suspect to stop and raise his hands, according to officials.

The suspect, who was armed, allegedly instead pointed his gun at the officer, police say. The officer opened fire, striking the suspect at least once. The suspect ran off and then fell to the ground in a nearby parking lot, dropping his gun, police said. As the off-duty officer approached him, the suspect allegedly reached for his gun. The officer then fired again, striking the suspect a second time.

Police say the suspect then ran to Broad and Chew streets where he once again collapsed to the ground. More officers responded to the scene and took the suspect to Einstein Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police say the elderly man was also injured during the initial robbery. He was taken to the hospital where he received several stitches.

No police officers were injured during the incident.

Police say they recovered the suspect's weapon. They continue to investigate, but said their preliminary probe into the shooting suggested that the off-duty officer's actions were justified.

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