Police shoot and kill man after yelling at him to drop knife

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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police shot and killed a man on a Philadelphia street Monday afternoon after yelling at him to drop his knife.

The shooting occurred shortly before 4 p.m. as officers responded to a report of domestic violence.

Sgt. Eric Gripp, a police spokesman, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that officers were called to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood and encountered the man, who was with at least one other person and “they appeared to be in some sort of altercation.”

Gripp said officers ordered the man to drop the knife, but he instead “advanced towards” them. Both officers then fired “several times,” Gripp said. One of the officers then put the man in a police vehicle and drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Video of the fatal confrontation recorded by a bystander and posted on social media shows officers pointing their guns at a man as he walked in the street and around a car. The man walks toward the officers as they backed away from him in the street, guns still aimed at him. They yell at him to put his knife down.

Both then fired several shots at the man and he collapsed in the street. A woman ran up to the victim and began screaming. Several bystanders then walk up to the man who was shot.

It is unclear in the video if the man had a knife. Witnesses said he was holding one.

No officers in the video appeared to be injured. The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately disclosed. Both were wearing body cameras and were taken of street duty pending the investigation.

A large crowd gathered where the man was killed, with video showing many yelling at the police officers and crying. Some people later spoke with city Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who arrived at the scene a short time after the shooting occurred. The crowd had mostly dispersed about two hours later.

“I heard and felt the anger of the community,” Outlaw said in a statement, adding that the video “raises many questions” and that “those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.”

The man’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told the Inquirer that it was his son Walter Jr. who was killed. “Why didn’t they use a taser?” he asked. Wallace Sr. said his 27-year-old son, who was also a father, was on medication and struggled with mental health issues.

The races of the victim and the police officers weren’t immediately confirmed. The shooting occurred in a predominantly Black neighborhood in west Philadelphia. The Inquirer reported that dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park and chanted “Black lives matter.”

A police spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking information about the shooting.

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