Investigators identified a man who they say shot and killed his teen son and injured another teen before being gunned down by police during a large fight in Philadelphia on Christmas. Family members deny that the father was the gunman, however.
The ordeal began Friday, shortly before 12:30 a.m., when police responded to a report of a fight on the 3300 block of Emerald Street.
As the officers tried to diffuse the situation, more family members exited their homes and formed a large crowd on the sidewalk and street, investigators said. Members of the crowd began fighting each other, according to police.
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During the fight, Jesus Perez, 43, pulled out a 9mm Smith & Wesson that was stolen out of Virginia and opened fire, officials said. Perez’s son, Jeremy Perez, 15, and a 17-year-old boy were both shot in the neck. Responding officers Timothy Strano, 39, and Leggie Thompson, 45, then opened fire, shooting Jesus Perez in the torso.
Jeremy Perez, Jesus Perez and the 17-year-old were all taken to Temple University Hospital. Both Jeremy Perez and Jesus Perez died from their injuries while the 17-year-old boy is in stable condition.
Neither officer was injured in the shooting. Strano is a six-year veteran of the Philadelphia police department while Thompson is a nine-month veteran.
While police say Perez fired the shots that killed his son and injured the other teen, family members denied that he opened fire during an interview with Philly.com.
Police continue to investigate the incident.
“The decision to utilize deadly force is the most serious action a police officer can undertake,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. “As such, we will ensure that a thorough, complete and objective investigation takes place. I would implore any and all first-hand eye-witnesses to come forward and share their accounts with our investigators.”
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.