Exclusive video of fatal police involved shooting in Germantown
GERMANTOWN - May 30, 2013 (WPVI) -- Officials are investigating the latest police involved shooting and, in this case, they have video surveillance obtained exclusively by Action News.
Surveillance video shows a police car pull to the curb behind another car, a gold Nissan.
According to police, it was around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday when an officer stopped along the 4500 block of Wayne Avenue in the city's Germantown section to check on curfew violations in the area.
While the officer sat in his car two men got out of the Nissan and began running north up Wayne Avenue. He then observed the driver of the car get out and start shooting at the fleeing men.
As the shooting starts, the video shows pedestrians running for cover.
The startled officer responded by jumping out of his vehicle and ordering the suspect to drop the gun. Police say the suspect apparently didn't know it was a police car that pulled in behind him, and continued to shoot at the men running from the car.
The officer then opened fire on the gunman.
The video shows at least 9 muzzle flashes coming from his gun.
The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Kyree Johnson, was shot multiple times and taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
"I'm getting conflicting stories and I don't know what is and what's not. All I know is my son is dead," Sherry Johnson, Kyree's mother, said.
Johnson's mother says her son did have a legally purchased and registered handgun.
Police say they recovered his .45 caliber handgun at the scene.
Sherry says her son carried it for protection and was not a street thug.
He worked full time at a hospital in Norristown and worked at Children's Hospital before that.
He leaves behind his 7-year-old son T.J.
"My son was not a jailbird, he was never incarcerated, he never did jail time, he was a hardworking man," Sherry said.
Police say Johnson had two minor priors for theft and DUI.
Police believe at least one of Johnson's two targets was also hit by gunfire. They are checking local hospitals in an effort to locate that individual.
Action News was told that a 2-year-old child and a 25-year-old woman may have been grazed by the gunfire, but it hasn't been confirmed that their injuries were caused by stray bullets. They were both taken to the hospital to be checked out.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small says, "They're both in good condition. I saw the two-year-old personally and he was not even crying, he was alert."
This was the third police involved shooting that took place yesterday.
On Wednesday afternoon, two 12th district officers were in their police van on 53rd Street and Greenway Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, searching for a 19-year-old wanted in a shooting moments earlier. Officials say a 19-year-old fitting the description of the gunman suddenly fired at the officers.
The officers returned fire before leaving the vehicle, leaving five bullet holes in the windshield of the van.
"They had to shoot from inside the vehicle - they had no chance to get out of the police vehicle. They had to defend themselves quickly," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright said.
Witness Chris Clarkson spoke to Action News about what he saw.
"He took shots at the police officers in the van and they returned fire. I don't know what the guy was thinking about, but that was a stupid move he made, to shoot, actually shoot at a cop. As you can see, the van window has five shots on it. He's just lucky they didn't take him out," Clarkson said.
The officers were not injured, but the suspect was shot multiple times and is listed in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Police say the suspect was being sought in connection with stealing a 50-year-old man's gun minutes earlier at 57th and Chester and then shooting him with it.
Residents say it's been like a war zone with all the violence and shootings.
"It sounds like you're living in Beirut, it's just like every day," Southwest Philadelphia resident Brenda Quick said.
Officials say it is in this intense environment that officers are placed in harm's way everyday to confront violent criminals.
"The officers out here are doing a tough job. They are asked to make split-second decisions with limited or no information at all," Wright said.
Hours earlier, there was a police involved shooting on the 2400 block of North 4th Street in North Philadelphia.
Police were responding to a report of a man with a gun. The suspect was confronted by an officer who allegedly shot the 26-year-old man twice, hitting him in the upper back and rear end.
The suspect is hospitalized in stable condition. No officers were injured.
These latest incidents come amid concerns over a significant rise in Philadelphia police shootings - 50-percent over last year.
Police say they are facing an epidemic of illegaly purchased guns on the streets and criminals who've become more willing to use them on civillians and the police.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has asked the Justice Department to review the rise in such shootings, but officials on Wednesday were defending the quick actions of 12th district officers at 53rd and Greenway.
"When you're confronted by a male or female with a firearm, I expect them and they have a duty to protect themselves and the community and this is a prime example of that," Wright said.
On the Philadelphia Police Department's Facebook page Commissioner Ramsey explained his asking for the Justice Department's review. He wrote he is not looking to compromise the safety of his officers; rather, he says consulting with an independent party will ensure credibility and an objective view in evaluating the department's policies and procedures.
philadelphia, germantown, police, shooting, local/state
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