Officer shot in head is recovering; suspect dead

  • David Ellis

  • Officer Stephen Korpalski

A patrol cop in the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict nar­rowly es­caped cata­stroph­ic in­jury as a gun­man wounded him in the head dur­ing a shootout on a Ta­cony street corner early Tues­day that left the sus­pect dead.

Of­ficer Steph­en Korpal­ski, 34, was re­leased from Al­bert Ein­stein Med­ic­al Cen­ter hours after the 12:44 a.m. shoot­ing, hav­ing been treated for a graze wound of the left side of his head. He is re­cov­er­ing at home, ac­cord­ing to a Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment state­ment.

The al­leged in­stig­at­or of the gun­fire, Dav­id El­lis, 29, of the 2600 block of Bouvi­er St., wasn’t so lucky. Korpal­ski, his part­ner and oth­er ar­riv­ing of­ficers fired at El­lis, wound­ing him fatally. El­lis was taken to Aria Health-Tor­res­dale and pro­nounced dead at 1:35 a.m. No oth­er in­jur­ies were re­por­ted.

The epis­ode began when po­lice ra­dio broad­cast a re­port of a per­son with a gun on the 6400 block of Dit­man St. While on patrol in a marked tac­tic­al wag­on, Korpal­ski and his part­ner heard the de­scrip­tion of the sus­pect and re­spon­ded to the scene. En route, they spot­ted a man match­ing the de­scrip­tion on foot at Tor­res­dale and Magee av­en­ues, about three blocks from the Dit­man Street loc­a­tion.

When Korpal­ski and his part­ner at­temp­ted to stop El­lis, he fired a gun at them, po­lice said. The bul­let grazed Korpal­ski’s head, but he and oth­er of­ficers man­aged to re­turn fire, strik­ing El­lis mul­tiple times. At least one bul­let re­portedly struck a po­lice van, while oth­ers struck the nearby Brooks Phar­macy. Po­lice did not dis­close how many rounds El­lis may have fired. In­vest­ig­at­ors re­covered El­lis’ al­leged weapon at the scene.

Korpal­ski is a 14-year vet­er­an of the po­lice de­part­ment and a mar­ried fath­er of a 3-week-old daugh­ter. The de­part­ment did not dis­close his place of res­id­ence. ••

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