Police: Officer was assassinated

September 24, 2008 9:03:42 PM PDT
At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Philadelphia police released more information about the shooting death of Officer Patrick McDonald, 30, and the wounding of Officer Richard Bowes, 35.The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon in North Philadelphia. At the news conference, Capt. James Clark told reporters that Officer McDonald had stopped the gunman, 27-year-old Daniel Giddings because a tail light was out on the car he was riding in.

Police say Officer McDonald approached the vehicle, and took the information from the female driver and Giddings. Giddings gave McDonald a false name.

Investigators say McDonald soon realized the lie Giddings had told him, and approached the passenger side of the car. Giddings jumped out of the car through the driver's side door and ran off on foot, with McDonald giving chase.

In the 2200 block of Colorado, McDonald caught up with Giddings. Police say Giddings then shot McDonald with a .45 semi-automatic handgun. Then Giddings stood over McDonald, and fired several more times, executing him.

Police say Giddings then stole a bicycle from a person who was in the area, and started to ride away. That's when he encountered three highway patrol officers on motorcycles. Investigators say Giddings threw his bicycle at one officer, knocking him off his motorcycle. Another officer tended to McDonald, while the third officer, Richard Bowes, chased Giddings.

Police say Gidding shot Officer Bowes in the hip, and even though he'd been shot, Police Chief Charles Ramsey says Bowes was able to fire six shots, striking and killing Giddings.

Police recovered the weapon at the scene and say Giddings had fired all rounds from the weapon.

Authorities say they've determined that the weapon, and several others, were purchased by a man named Jason Mack of South Carolina back in 2006. The ATF is now questioning Mack.

The woman who was in the car with Giddings was questioned by police. She will not be charged.

As for Giddings, police released more details about his criminal history.

According to police, Giddings was arrested back in August of 1998 for a carjacking, in which he shot the victim twice in the legs and stole $100. Giddings was sentenced to 6-12 years behind bars.

While in prison, police say Giddings was accused of 27 infractions, and found guilty on 18 of those. In addition, police say Giddings was kicked out of two prisons during his sentence.

Giddings was paroled on August 18, 2008. He spent a week at a halfway house at 12th and Bainbridge before disappearing.

Shortly after, police attempted to pull him over for a traffic violation, and he ran off. Officers caught up to Giddings and a fight ensued. Giddings escaped, and four officers were hurt. An arrest warrant was issued after that incident.

During that incident, according to police, Giddings told friends he "would not be taken alive." "Our understanding was, after he assaulted the officers, he made a statement that he would not go back to prison, and he would take down any officer that tried to take him to prison," said Capt. James Clark.

"He was a dangerous individual, and he demonstrated that over and over and over again," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

During one of his public appearances Wednesday, Mayor Michael Nutter was overcome as he asked the community to show their support for the embattled police department.

"If you see a police officer today, please take a moment to..." Mayor Nutter then paused to collect himself. "Just take a moment."

On Wednesday, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said that Officer Bowes' use of deadly force was justified.

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