Fleeing suspect struck, killed by police cruiser in Chester

CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- Delaware County officials are investigating an unusual crash involving a police car and a man on a bicycle.

The man was killed after his bike collided with the police cruiser, following a chase.

Now officials are trying to determine exactly what happened.

Chester police here have turned the investigation over to the Delaware County District Attorney's Office. It is normal procedure in a police related fatality case.

But the victim's family wants answers now.

It happened around 8:30 Wednesday night at Keystone Road and West 13th Street.

A 55-year-old woman had been robbed of her cellphone and cash while walking in the area of the 1100 block of Meadow.

Sheriff's deputies happened to be in the area when they heard a police radio alert for the armed robbery.

Officers spotted a man matching the description of the suspect on a bicycle. When they tried to stop him, police say they saw he had a gun.

Chester police officers joined the chase. A few blocks away, they say a police car collided with the man on the bicycle.

The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Sherman Byrd, died at the hospital a short time later.

Police say they found the gun at the scene of the collision, and are confident that Byrd is responsible for the robbery.

Byrd's family says he lives in North Carolina, but was in town to visit his 6-year-old daughter and attend his sister's high school graduation.

They say he left a family gathering just 15 minutes before the police chase.

Tempers flared at the hospital last night, prompting a lock down.

Byrd's father and another relative allegedly went racing to the door. When they were prevented from entering the hospital, police say they started assaulting an Upland Police officer.

Both have been charged with assault.

Byrd's family has hired a lawyer. They say they are gathering information and may have more to say about the case later.

Chester Mayor John Linder says he is confident the District Attorney will conduct a fair and impartial investigation.

He says, "We get the results of that [investigation], and we share those results. And that's as fair as we can guarantee the process to be at this point."
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