An off-duty Philadelphia police officer shot and killed a driver accused of attacking him and also intentionally striking a pedestrian in South Philadelphia Monday morning.
Police say the 31-year-old Maryland man was driving a black Honda Civic south on Broad near Marconi Plaza around 7:30 a.m. The driver then made a left onto Bigler Street and struck a man who was exiting his parked car. Investigators say it appears the driver did this intentionally.
Police say the Honda continued east on Bigler before making a U-turn and returning toward the intersection of Broad and Bigler near Marconi Plaza. As he approached the intersection, a Good Samaritan used his truck to block his path, according to investigators. The Good Samaritan told the suspect he had struck a pedestrian. The suspect then allegedly chased the Good Samaritan on foot before walking back to his Honda.
As the suspect walked back to his vehicle, an off-duty detective who witnessed the incident approached him and identified himself as an officer, police said. Police say the detective told the man to get on the ground. They also say they obtained surveillance video showing the detective drawing his department-issued weapon and the suspect, who was around 6-foot tall and weighed around 250 pounds, charging at him.
"They got into a violent struggle where the male struck the detective several times," said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
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Police say several shots were fired during the struggle as the suspect tried to disarm the officer.
"All we heard was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. A lot of shots," a witness told NBC10. "And people running and scurrying around. It was really scary. There was even a baby seat in the car so that was scary too."
The suspect, who police don't believe was armed, was shot several times during the scuffle. He was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. Police have not yet released his identity but confirmed he's from Maryland. They are unsure why he was in Philadelphia.
The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for head and shoulder injuries. He was later released. The pedestrian who was struck by the suspect's vehicle was also treated at the hospital and later released.
Police say they would not immediately release surveillance video that is part of the investigation. The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Ross said that he had "concerns" about the incident.
"I do have some concerns about the shooting, in particular whether all the shots were necessary," Ross said. "Right now we're canvassing the neighborhood for more video and additional witnesses."
Ross also addressed initial reports that the suspect was targeting multiple pedestrians with his car.
"Right now we have not been able to confirm this at all," Ross said. "The only thing we know is of this one incident at this point in time that we are still investigating."
Police also don't believe the incident was a case of domestic terrorism.
If you have any information on the incident, please call Philadelphia Police at 216-683-1866.