DA: Off-duty officer justified in shooting
PHILADELPHIA - March 31, 2010 (WPVI) -- The Montgomery County District Attorney says an off-duty Philadelphia police officer was justified in the shooting of a man following an armed convenience store robbery.
The incident began at the 7-Eleven store on City Avenue in the Bala Cynwyd neighborhood of Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County.
According to investigators, Kenneth DeShields was attempting to rob the store around 3:00 a.m., armed with a sliver 9mm handgun.
As the crime was in progress, Philadelphia Police Lt. Jonathan Josey, a 17 year veteran of the force, entered the store. The DA says Josey was a regular customer of the store, and knew immediately that something was wrong.
By the time Josey came into the store, the DA says DeShields had his hands in the front pocket of the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing. However, the 7-11 employee was using facial gestures to communicate with Josey that something was wrong.
Instead of confronting DeShields right away, the DA says Josey walked into the store to secretly survey the situation. At one point, the employee was able to tell Josey he was being robbed.
At that point, Josey identified himself and ordered DeShields to stop. Instead, DeShields ran out of the store with Josey in pursuit.
During the foot chase, the DA says Josey fired three shots, because he saw DeShields repeatedly put his hand in his pocket and waistband area, where Josey believed DeShields had a gun.
Josey continued to identify himself as a police officer, the DA said, and then shot DeShields when he made an aggressive movement toward Josey.
DeShields was struck twice, and collapsed in a parking lot on the campus of St. Joseph's University on the Philadelphia side of the street.
The 9mm handgun was found in DeShields' waistband, police said. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Because Josey was acting in his role as a police officer, the suspect was armed and he feared for his life, the DA ruled Josey was justified in the use of deadly force.
The Army says DeShields had reenlisted in 2008 for a five-year term with the Pennsylvania National Guard, but had been listed absent without leave.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, robbery, police, shooting, local/state
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