Questions surround police-involved shooting

April 26, 2011 2:58:16 PM PDT
Philadelphia police are still sorting out the string of events that ended with an off-duty officer shooting a man in Frankford.

Everyone involved in the case agrees the off-duty officer shot a man, but what is in dispute is what happened in the moments before.

Brittnay Britton says it was inside her front doorway, with her and Taylor's kids just a few feet away, that the off-duty officer shot her 23-year-old fiancé, Josh Taylor.

"The door was fully shut, he opened it by himself and came in, Josh was on the floor, because he fell from slamming the door so hard, and then he shot Josh right in his chest and then he ran out the door," Britton said.

"[Josh] took his shirt off, I seen a gaping a hole the size of a quarter, dead center in his chest, then he starts saying 'I can't breathe. Am I going to die? That guy just shot me,'" neighbor Carol Lawless said.

Sources have identified the officer as Larry Shields, an 18-year veteran of the force.

He was in the neighborhood helping a relative move.

Last night, Commissioner Charles Ramsey told Action News Shields claims he saw Taylor with a gun. He identified himself as police and told Taylor to drop the weapon, but Taylor ran into his home and while doing so pointed the gun at him.

"Everybody on this block knows that Josh would never point a gun at anybody, especially in broad daylight for no reason, no, he wouldn't," Britton said.

But there may be more to the story.

Neighbors say they heard Shields and Taylor arguing over a parking spot moments before the shooting.

Police brass and the DA's office have been tight-lipped today, only saying the shooting is under investigation.

Taylor remains fighting for his life at Aria Health's Torresdale Campus.

"Not good at all, it's a 50-50 chance; they say his liver's completely destroyed, he keeps losing blood, he's in coma, just everyone pray for him," Britton said.

Britton said Taylor did have a permit for a gun and yesterday, he was planning to take his best friend to the shooting range for his birthday.