Rioting, vandalism and looting erupted in Philadelphia on Monday night hours after police fatally shot a 27-year-old black man armed with a knife during a domestic disturbance call.
Late into the night, growing anger boiled over into a violent riot near the Philadelphia Police 18th District building. Several officers were injured by bricks and other projectiles thrown at them by a crowd of demonstrators.
At least 30 officers have been hurt with 12 hospitalized, including one female cop, 56, who suffered a broken leg after being hit by a speeding pick-up truck that was videoed driving towards a line of officers close to the city center shortly before 1am, according to Philadelphia Police.
Multiple instances of looting have also been reported across the city, with at least one cop car set on fire amid the chaos. Police said multiple stores were looted including several Rite Aid stores in West Philadelphia, clothing and shoe stores and one restaurant.
The unruly scenes were sparked by the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., a man said to suffer from mental illness who was killed by officers during a domestic call along the 6100 block of Locust Street, just before 4pm.
When cops arrived, they said they found Wallace holding a knife. Police said they repeatedly told Wallace to drop the blade but he failed to acquiesce.
Two officers then opened fire, striking the 27-year-old multiple times. Wallace was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Scroll down for video
At least four officers have been hospitalized, including one female cop who was struck by a speeding pick-up truck that was videoed driving towards a line of officers in the city center
Multiple cars have been set ablaze during the protest. At least one cop car (shown above) was among the torched vehicles
Late into the night, growing anger turned into a violent standoff outside the Philadelphia Police 18th District headquarters in the western part of the city as several officers were injured by bricks and other projectiles thrown at them by a crowd of demonstrators
Sharif Proctor lifts his hands up in front of the police line during a protest in response to the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. on Monday
Protests erupted after police officers fatally shot a 27-year-old black man armed with a knife during a confrontation on Monday afternoon
Protests were sparked by the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. (above), who was killed by officers during a domestic call along the 6100 block of Locust Street, just before 4pm
The fatal confrontation was captured on video by a bystander, who later posted the clip to social media.
The video shows two officers pointing their guns at a man as he walks away from them in the street and ducks around a car.
The man then re-emerges in frame and is seen walking towards the officers with his arm outstretched.
The officers are seen backing away from him as he continues to advance towards them in the middle of the street, with their guns still drawn.
‘Put the knife down, put the knife down,’ one officer can be heard saying in the clip.
Both officers then open fire at Wallace, shooting at least 14 shots. Wallace then collapses in the street.
A woman, believed to be Wallace’s mother, is seen running over towards Wallace, hysterically screaming ‘no’ towards the officers. She then appears to throw something at one of the cops. Several other bystanders then race over.
‘You really had to give him that many f***ing shots?’ the man recording the footage is heard shouting out.
At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene.
Witnesses and neighbors told ABC6 that they want to know why less-lethal force wasn’t used.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp told the Philadelphia Inquirer that officers ordered Wallace to drop the weapon, and he ‘advanced towards the officers’. Gripp said investigators are reviewing footage of what happened; both officers were wearing body cameras.
Gripp said it was unclear how many times the man was shot or where in his body he was struck.
Unrest: Police are pictured charging at a crowd of protesters along 52nd Street in West Philadelphia in the early hours of Tuesday
A police officer lies on the ground before being loaded into an ambulance on 52nd Street in West Philadelphia in the early hours of Tuesday
Police shove back a woman who was arguing with them just off 52nd Street in West Philadelphia in the early hours of Tuesday
A group of residents took to the streets protesting Wallace’s death close to where he was shot, yelling a police and questioning the officers’ use of lethal force
Protesters confronted police who stood in a line with riot shields behind metal barricades close to the police headquarters
Video posted to social media shows protesters throwing bricks, trash cans and other projectiles at an advancing line of riot police
Glass is also heard smashing in the background of the video, as projectiles strike the officers’ shields
By Monday night, a group of residents took to the streets protesting Wallace’s death close to where he was shot, yelling a police and questioning the officers’ use of lethal force.
At around 6:30pm the crowd dispersed from Locust Street and dozens of around 200 protesters were seen gathering at Malcolm X Park at 51st and Pine Streets, chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’, according to the Inquirer.
They then marched to the police station at 55th and Pine Streets as they chanted, ‘Say his name: Walter Wallace.’
Protesters confronted police who stood in a line with riot shields behind metal barricades close to the police headquarters.
Video posted to social media shows protesters throwing bricks, trash cans and other projectiles at an advancing line of riot police. Glass is also heard smashing in the background of the video, as projectiles strike the officers’ shields.
A female police officer was hospitalized after being run down by a speeding black pick-up truck outside 5201 Chestnut St shortly before 1am.
In video posted to social media, the truck is seen speeding through an intersection and striking multiple officers. At least one officer stayed down, with bystanders seen racing to their aid.
The truck was later stopped by police and the driver is now in custody, according to freelance news photographer Shane B. Murphy.
The exact number of officers struck or status of the hospitalized officer is not immediately known.
Protester Mahogany, who shot the footage of the cop being hit, told DailyMail.com: ‘The cop that got ran over, I think she was either a sergeant or a lieutenant, she got hit by a truck or a car. She was hit real bad, she fell on the ground, I think her leg was hurt. A couple of cops got f***ed up, what they deserved, got hit in the head with bottles. They deserved everything that they received.’
In video posted to social media, the truck is seen speeding through an intersection and striking an officer
An officer stayed down, with bystanders seen racing to their aid. The truck was later stopped by police and the driver is now in custody, according to news photographer Shane B. Murphy
Fireworks are set off in the middle of the street during the protest in West Philadelphia on Monday night
Another group of demonstrators also marched into University City, where at least one TV news vehicle was vandalized
Police clear a section of 52nd Street in West Philadelphia early Tuesday
Police lead several people in handcuffs to a police van on 52nd Street in West Philadelphia in the early hours of Tuesday
An officer shoves a man trying to talk to protesters being handcuffed and loaded into a police van along 52nd Street in West Philadelphia
Mahogany continued: ‘We need a change, because if change don’t come, it will get worse. We need to come to some neutral ground about how the police are treating Americans, especially black males and females, Latinos, anybody of color is being treated ridiculously.
‘If that was a white man with a knife, they would have handled it different. The cops are taught to apprehend criminals in different ways and different procedures. They are shooting first and asking questions later.
‘Us the black people are tired of being shot at from officers, we are tired of being scared and afraid for our lives from officers. We are sick and tired of having to be scared when we’re driving, when we’re walking down the streets because we’re black. We are tired of being racially profiled.
‘The protest wasn’t meant to be violent, but the only way these cops understand is fighting violence with violence. Our young black men are dying at the hands of people who are meant to protect and serve. We are scared to death of police officers.’
Another group of demonstrators also marched into University City, where at least one TV news vehicle was vandalized. Police reported that windows had been broken on Chestnut Street and walls were covered with graffiti.
Instances of looting have also been reported across the city, according to local reports.
A group of 20 to 30 males were reported to be ransacking a Target store along Chestnut Street. A video posted to social media also appeared to show a large group attempting to break into a nearby Sunray Drugs store.
A SWAT Team and K-9 unit reportedly responded to a Rite Aid store in the area, after looters allegedly used explosives to gain access to a rear money-storage room. A bomb disposal unit has reportedly been summoned to the scene.
Multiple cars and dumpsters were also set on fire. At least one of those vehicles was a cop car, with Inquirer reporter Anna Orso uploading an image of the torched SUV along 52nd and Market streets to Twitter.
A video posted to Twitter by Post Millennial Editor Andy Ngo also showed what appeared to be a group of activists breaking into a Philadelphia PD truck.
It’s currently unclear how many arrests have been made and how many officers have been injured during the protests.
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told reporters it appeared his son had been shot 10 times
Wallace Jr. was rushed to the hospital after being shot, where he was later pronounced dead
Walter Wallace Sr (above) said his son had mental health issues and was on medication
At least a dozen evidence markers were found at the scene. Around 14 shots are heard ringing out in the video
Officers immediately drew their guns, he said. Wallace’s mother was stood next to him, and chased after him as he walked down the steps of his porch towards the officers, still holding the knife
Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., told reporters it appeared his son had been shot 10 times.
‘Why didn’t they use a taser?’ he asked outside his family’s residence. ‘His mother was trying to diffuse the situation.’
According to Wallace Sr., his son had mental health issues and was on medication.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kennedy issued a statement Monday night, saying: ‘My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered.
‘I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns firsthand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able,’ he continued, promising a full investigation would be carried out.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also offered residence her ‘assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.’
‘While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community,’ she said. ‘Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist. I also plan to join the Mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace’s family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled.’
Witness Maurice Holloway, who was talking to his aunt along the street when he heard the police arrive, said Wallace had been stood on the porch of his home holding a knife.
Officers immediately drew their guns, he said. Wallace’s mother was stood next to him, and chased after him as he walked down the steps of his porch towards the officers, still holding the knife.
Holloway said Wallace’s mother attempted to shield him from the officers, telling police he was her son.
‘I’m yelling, “put down the gun, put down the gun,” and everyone is saying, “don’t shoot him, he’s gonna put it down, we know him,”’ Holloway recounted to the Inquirer.
Wallace’s mother attempted to grab her son, he said, but he shrugged her off and then walked towards the officers.
‘He turns and then you hear the shots,’ Holloway said. ‘They were too far from him. It was so many shots.’
Police have reportedly had bricks and a number of other projectiles thrown at them
Another group of demonstrators also marched into University City, where at least one TV news vehicle was vandalized
People gather in protest in response to the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., Monday
Around 200 people were seen marching through the city on Monday evening, scenes which have since descended into chaos
It’s unclear if any arrests have yet been made by police. Several officers are said to have been injured so far
Instances of looting have also been reported across the city, according to local reports
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a statement Monday saying his office’s Special Investigation Unit will be working with police in their investigation into the shooting.
‘The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office takes its obligation to try to be fair and to seek evenhanded justice seriously,’ Krasner said. ‘The DAO Special Investigation Unit responded to today’s fatal shooting of a civilian by police shortly after it occurred, and has been on scene with other DAO personnel since that time investigating, as we do jointly with the PPD Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Unit, in shootings and fatalities by other means involving police.’
Krasner also encouraged witnesses or others with information to contact the District Attorney’s Office.
‘In the hours and days following this shooting, we ask Philadelphians to come together to uphold people’s freedom to express themselves peacefully and to reject violence of any kind,’ he continued.
John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said in a statement that police were being ‘vilified this evening for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife.’
‘We support and defend these officers, as they too are traumatized by being involved in a fatal shooting.’
Both officers have been placed on administrative assignment, pending an investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting should call the DAO Special Investigation Unit hotline at 215-686-9608.