Phila. police kill driver after hit-and-run

April 18, 2012 1:32:22 PM PDT
A driver was shot and killed by police after a hit-and-run on Thursday morning in North Philadelphia.

It all began around 11:00 a.m. in the parking lot of a drug store near Temple University, in the area of Broad and Oxford streets in the Brewerytown neighborhood.

A police officer driving by saw a pickup truck slam into a couple of cars. The officer made a U-turn to investigate.

"He sees a pickup truck trying to get out of the parking lot, striking another vehicle, then striking a 21-year-old male," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Ray Evers.

Police say the truck then tried to run over the officer. The officer fired his gun at the truck several times, flattening two tires.

About 6 blocks away, the driver gets out of the truck and runs across a field. Other officers are right on him and a female officer corners the suspect in a vacant lot off Lambert Street.

"At that time the male says to the officer, 'Step back or I'm going to blow your head off.' At that time the officer discharges several times. That male is struck in the shoulder, with a graze wound to the leg," said Evers.

The suspect is pronounced dead a short time later at the hospital.

It all played out in front of horrified witnesses. Vanessa Carter and her mother heard the shots.

"After that I got scared. I got out of the car and laid on the ground because I didn't know where they were coming from, but I knew they were close," said Vanessa.

"My daughter got out of the car and ducked down. We didn't know where the bullets were coming from so we just got out of the car and ducked," said Vanessa's mother.

After the shooting, officers combed the area looking for a weapon the suspect may have had. Police say the officer apparently did not see a gun when he allegedly threatened her.

Police found what appears to be a bag full of prescription medications in the suspect's pickup truck. His blood will be tested and an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

The police have not released the suspect's name yet. Fortunately, the 21-year-old Temple student who was run down is doing okay. He's being treated for a broken ankle.