Police use gun & taser on armed suspect
FISHTOWN - February 27, 2012 (WPVI) -- Police say an officer was forced to shoot when a man lunged at them with a knife. The suspect remains at the hospital in critical, but stable condition.
The incident unfolded around 11:45 p.m. Sunday in Philadelphia's Fishtown section.
"He tore up our bathroom upstairs, broke the lights, stabbed the walls."
Sisters Tina and Katie, whose last names Action News is withholding, survived a night of terror at their Fishtown home in the 200 block of East Wildey Street, along with their three children and other family members.
An apparently deranged man in his 40s forced his way in and went berserk, tearing up everything, including the gas stove. Tina's husband wrestled with the man. He pushed their mother around but never injured anyone but himself.
They were able to keep him out of the bedroom where their three children were sleeping.
"He just kept barging from room to room," said Tina. "We just wouldn't let him near the children's room. That's where we held our ground."
The rampage had started around the corner, outside the door of the Giangreco's home on Shackamaxon Street, when they heard noise as they watched the Oscars. They looked out to see the man pulling their light post out of the pavement.
They saw him run around the corner to the neighbors' house. She called police.
"I was out there for the gunshots and I watched them taser him and everything," said Debbie Giangreco. "He just wouldn't give up."
When police arrived, the home invader, wielding a knife with an 8-inch blade, was wreaking havoc in and around that other house, stabbing holes in the siding and pulling out the telephone wires.
"He kept stabbing himself in the chest and he slit his neck," said Katie.
Eventually he came outside, witnesses say, and confronted the cops.
"They kept asking him to drop his weapon multiple times and he would not," said Katie. "He lunged at them with the knife and that's when they shot him. And he still kept going. They were tazing him, they were trying to get him to stop. Even when he was on the ground he kept swinging the knife at them. He would not stop."
Police say they were forced to shoot twice. Eventually they tasered him and took him into custody. He was transferred to Hahnemann University Hospital where he remains.
There were no injuries to officers. The officers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation, according to standard police department procedure.
One of the occupants of the home injured her back as the man tried to force his way through the bathroom door where she was hiding.
Action News did ask police if any drugs were found in the suspect's possession, but so far there is no word on that.
police, shooting, taser, fishtown, philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state
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