Police investigate the scene and recover a bloody gun as neighbors look on after other officers shot and killed a man they say was firing the weapon Wednesday night on Wayne Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Photographs for the Gun Crisis reporting Project by Joseph Kaczmarek.
According to police, officers responded to reports of two men shooting in the area of Wayne Avenue and West Berkley Street around 10 p.m. when they witnessed a man with a gun. Officers fired 14 times at the man, who officials say refused to drop the weapon, adding that police recovered a .45 caliber handgun next to the suspect.
Preliminary reports said that a two-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman were hospitalized with graze wounds, according to a report at newsworks.org. Based on ballistic evidence on the scene, police believe the suspect fired at least eight shots, according to CBS3.
Police believe at least one of the suspect’s two targets was also hit by gunfire, according to a report at 6ABC. They are checking local hospitals.
The Associated Press reported that the Germantown incident marked the third police-involved shooting in the city Wednesday. In the earlier incidents, officers shot one man in the buttocks and another was critically injured.
In the first incident, police wounded a man they say opened fire on them in North Philadelphia Wednesday morning, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The suspect was reported in stable condition at Temple University Hospital, police said.
In Southwest Philadelphia, police say two officers were being fired upon and had to return fire through the windshield of their police van Wednesday afternoon, according to a 6ABC report. The 19-year-old suspect was struck multiple times.
No officers were injured in Wednesday’s shootings, and all three incidents are under investigation, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
As of Thursday morning, Philadelphia police have been involved in 22 shootings so far in 2013. Last year, police shot 52 suspects, killing 15 of them, according to a philly.com report.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has asked for an independent investigation of his department’s policies and training practices. According to 6ABC, Ramsey has asked the US Department of Justice to conduct the investigation with an outside consultant.
Ramsey discussed his decision on the Philadelphia Police Facebook page:
My primary concern is the sanctity of life equally for members of this department and the public we serve. At no point am I looking to compromise the safety of our Officers; however, researching and implementing the best practices to be used by the department is essential.
NBC10 reported that Wednesday’s incidents marked the fifth, sixth and seventh police-involved shootings in Philadelphia within a week.
Last week, police shot three suspects in the city, killing two of them, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, adding that in each of those cases, police officials said they had recovered a handgun from suspects at the crime scene. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, police also shot and killed a man they said was armed with a knife last week.
Philadelphia police officers have shot fewer people this year than they did by this point in 2012, when there was a nearly 50 percent jump from the year before, according to CBS3.
Update: Speaking with KYW Newsradio Thursday morning, Ramsey added:
Listen, I’ve also had a lot of cops get shot and killed since I’ve been in Philadelphia, so I do believe there are a lot of threats and dangerous situations they find themselves in.
Slideshow: Neighbors look on as police investigate Wednesday night on Wayne Avenue. Photographs by Joseph Kaczmarek:
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