Man killed in struggle with Philadelphia police

WEST PHILADELPHIA - November 12, 2012

It was just before midnight when 19th District officers saw a 35-year-old man on a bicycle at the intersection of 61st and Market streets who they believe was acting suspiciously. Police say it appeared he had a weapon. When officers stopped him, police say the man pulled a gun from his waistband.

Police say the officer was forced to shoot.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small tells Action News, "Two officers had a violent struggle with this man. Ordered him many times to drop the weapon. The male refused, then pointed the weapon at both the officers. One officer then discharged, striking the suspect in the chest."

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun was found in his possession. But the man's cousin tells a completely different story. She maintains her cousin wasn't doing anything wrong when he was approached by police.

Ashley Harvin says, "He's not into the streets or none of that. So, [the police] found the gun - they put it on him. That's a lie. He's not into the streets. He's a family man."

The suspect's identity has not been released. Neither officer was injured in the confrontation.

The Internal Affairs Unit and the Crime Scene Unit are investigating the incident.

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