A respected foot beat officer from the 2nd Police District shot and killed a suspected robber who allegedly assaulted him on an Oxford Circle street Tuesday afternoon.
Philadelphia police have not identified the injured officer or the alleged robber publicly, but described the cop as a 39-year-old 17-year veteran of the force.
The episode unfolded at about 4 p.m. on the 6500 block of Castor Ave. Police commanders told news reporters at the scene that the officer saw a mugging in progress and attempted to arrest the crook, who punched the cop and ran.
During a foot chase and ensuing physical struggle, the officer attempted to Taser the suspect twice before the suspect allegedly lifted the officer and slammed him headlong to the pavement.
The officer drew his gun and ordered the suspect to the ground, but the suspect failed to comply, police said. The officer shot him once, striking the suspect in the chest.
The alleged robber was taken to Aria Health-Torresdale where he died shortly before 5 p.m. He was 45 and had eight prior arrests for assaults, retail thefts, rape, harassment and protection from abuse violations.
The officer was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center in stable condition with possible head injuries. A TV news video showed him climbing into the back of an ambulance under his own power.
Police commanders and Castor Avenue merchants said that the injured officer was assigned to the foot beat about six months ago in response to a rash of robberies. Several merchants said that the officer had developed a strong rapport with them and had improved conditions in the business corridor.
The officer will be reassigned to desk duty pending an internal investigation of the shooting and a review of the investigation by the District Attorney’s Office. ••