Philadephia DA clears Penn officers in shooting

January 25, 2011 5:52:24 AM PST
Prosecutors in Philadelphia have cleared four University of Pennsylvania police officers of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a teenage carjacking suspect last fall.

The office of the district attorney said Monday that the officers were defending themselves when they fired back at 18-year-old Karl Sappleton on Nov. 21.

Philadelphia police said they were pursuing Sappleton and 18-year-old Leslie Mosby in a stolen Cadillac that crashed on a street corner within school's campus.

Mosby was captured, but police said Sappleton was shot after he fired at the Penn officers.

Court records said Sappleton was being sought for failure to appear at a hearing in an unrelated case.

Police said it all started around 2:45 a.m. with the carjacking of a Cadillac by the two men near the intersection of 50th and Arch streets.

The carjacking victim called Philadelphia Police who broadcast a description of the vehicle on police radio. A short time later officers from the 16th district observed the Cadillac traveling east on Locust Street and tried to pull the vehicle over, but the Cadillac sped away.

A few blocks away near the intersection of 40th and Locust Walk the driver of the Cadillac lost control and jumped the curb, striking a concrete barrier.

Penn police picked up the chase on foot. That's when they say the men started shooting at them.

The Penn officers shot back, killing Sappleton.

No officers or students were wounded.