Officials are responding to reports of rioting, vandalism and looting in West Philadelphia following protests in response to a deadly police shooting in the city’s Cobbs Creek neighborhood.
Police said crowds set fire to cars and dumpsters and looted multiple stores late Monday night along 52nd and Chestnut streets. Firefighters also responded to a fire on 52nd and Sansom streets.
Earlier in the night, protesters gathered outside the 18th District police headquarters on 55th and Pine streets as well as the University of Penn Police headquarters on 40th and Chestnut streets.
During the protest outside the 18th District, at least four officers were hospitalized after they were struck by bricks, investigators said. There were also reports of vandalism, including spray-paint and smashed windows, at the Penn police station.
The protests, rioting and looting occurred hours after 27-year-old Walter Wallace was shot and killed by two Philadelphia police officers in Cobbs Creek. Investigators said Wallace was armed with a knife when he approached the officers and ignored them when they told him to drop the weapon.
Video from a witness showed Wallace walking toward the officers as a woman, identified as his mother, tried to restrain him. It’s unclear in the video however whether or not Wallace is holding a weapon.
A man who investigators say was armed with a knife was shot and killed by police in West Philadelphia. New video obtained by NBC10 shows a woman, who a witness identified as the man’s mother, trying to restrain him moments before the officers opened fire.
As Wallace continues to approach the officers, the camera briefly points downward and the sounds of several gunshots are heard as the police open fire. The camera then rises again, showing Wallace motionless on the ground as his mother runs toward him, screaming hysterically.
Wallace was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner all released statements in response to the shooting, saying they would investigate the incident.
Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby also released a statement defending the officers.
Monday’s shooting, protests and rioting occurred amid a year of widespread unrest in Philadelphia and cities across the country in reaction to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.