Suspect killed in struggle with officer

March 17, 2009 9:54:13 AM PDT
At this hour Philadelphia police are working to identify the young man who was shot and killed during a violent struggle with a police officer overnight. Detectives spent much of the night on the scene of the violent confrontation between a 14th District police officer and a suspect shot dead.

It all began just before midnight in the area of Milton and Dural in East Mount Airy. Police spotted a 1993 maroon Chrysler driving very fast and into oncoming traffic. Two officers set off in pursuit in their police cruiser and followed as the suspect's car pulled into a driveway.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Frank Vanore told reporters, "About halfway down the driveway the vehicle stopped. The driver of the vehicle exited on foot."

One of the officers ran after him and caught up with the suspect a few blocks away in the 900 block of East Johnson.

"The officer had his handcuffs out. The male turned (and) assaulted the officer during the struggle," says Lt. Vanore.

Police say the suspect actually grabbed the officer's baton and tried to choke him. The officer fired his gun. The suspect was hit twice in the upper body and pronounced dead at the hospital minutes later.

Other officers raced to the scene concerned one of their own might be injured. Lanore explains, "They looked for the officer during that foot pursuit and for a number of minutes they couldn't locate him. So, it was a frightening situation. They knew he was involved in a struggle."

The officer did suffer minor cuts and bruises. He was treated and released from the hospital.

Police say the suspect who died is about 20-years-old. So far, they have been unable to identify him.

The car he was driving was stolen earlier this month.

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