Family of man shot by police in West Philadephia looking for answers

WEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On a busy Friday night, the staff at Bookers Restaurant and Bar in West Philadelphia can't stop thinking about Kaleb Belay, one of their coworkers who is fighting for his life.

Bookers General Manager Stephanie Taylor says she is heartbroken.

"Our team feels the same way because we can't believe something like this happened," she said.

"I can't wrap my head around it. I imagine he's the kind of kid who finishes work and goes right home, sleeps, wakes up and comes back to that," added Eyob Moges, Bookers' Assistant General Manager.

The family and friends of Belay rushed to Penn Presbyterian Hospital today as the 25-year-old was being prepared for an additional surgery.

A family attorney says Belay had already had his spleen and part of his pancreas removed. Belay is in critical but stable condition.
Police say two officers arrived at the 4900 block of Hazel Ave in West Philadelphia after a radio call about a person with a weapon & report of a stabbing.

According to police, a man emerged from behind a large bush with a knife in his left hand.

The police department says both retreated as officers drew their guns and ordered the man to drop the knife.

Police say he did not comply but walked forward. One officer fired multiple shots.

Belay is part of a close-knit Ethiopian immigrant community.

A relative says he is a former student at Temple's Fox School of Business.

Friends say he was hard-working, nice, even nerdy... and that it would have been out of character for him to cause trouble.

Simon Haileab, the family's attorney, says Belay is described as a gentle, academically-oriented young man.

"He was a guy who came roughly 10 months ago to pursue a degree in finance at Temple University."

Haileab says the family has many questions. Among them, who made the 911 call and what exactly was said. They also want to know what occurred after police arrived and confronted the former grad student.

The family is waiting on the results of the police investigation.

Given there was a police-involved shooting, that investigation is being conducted by the Philadelphia Police Department's Internal Affairs Division.
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