Gunman Fired at Officers 1st in Deadly South Philly Gun Battle, Police Say

Charles Meadows fired at least 7 shots at Philadelphia police officers before he was shot and killed after pointing his gun at 2 other officers, police say.

A man fired at officers before being shot and killed by police in South Philadelphia on Thursday morning in a hail of gunfire that also included numerous bullets through the front of a police cruiser, police said.

The rolling incident began when two uniformed officers spotted Charles Meadows riding a bicycle the wrong way on the 2000 block of McKean Street around 11 a.m., police said while releasing new information Friday.

"He’s riding a bicycle in the area and they see a bulge on his right side which is consistent with a firearm," police spokesman Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said Thursday. "They go to approach the male to stop him and engage him. ... At some point while fleeing on foot, I should mention, he discarded the bike."

One officer drew his gun and told Meadows to stop and show his hands, investigators said. Meadows then fell to the ground and dropped a .40 caliber pistol, which the officer told him not to touch.

Meadows then grabbed the gun and fired at both officers, police said.

"At 20th and Mercy streets, the male does stop and an exchange of gunfire between the male and the officer takes place," Kinebrew said. "We're not sure if that is the moment the male is struck because the male does get up and continues to run right to here, 20th and Snyder."

At that point, two officers in another patrol car approached the scene, investigators said. Meadows then pointed his gun at the officers causing them to fire multiple times through the windshield of their police cruiser.

Meadows collapsed at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, dropping his gun, with six rounds still in the chamber on the ground, police said. 

Joseph Kaczmarek for NBC10
A Philadelphia police crime scene investigator holds a handgun allegedly used in a running gun battle between officers and a suspect, who later died, in South Philadelphia, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

Social video of a man who appeared to be shot showed officers picking him off the sidewalk and taking him away in a police cruiser to a hospital, a common practice in Philadelphia for shooting victims known as "scoop-and-run."


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Meadows died a short time later at the hospital, police said.

The large scene was cordoned off about 11 a.m. near the intersection of 20th Street and Snyder Avenue in the Girard Park section west of South Broad Street. At that location, a police cruiser could be seen parked with bullet holes through the front windshield.

Police found evidence that Meadows fired seven shots at the officers along 20th Street.

No officers were hurt.

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