Police ID suspect killed after allegedly attempting to rob off-duty officer

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A suspect was shot and killed after allegedly firing blank rounds at an off-duty officer during a robbery attempt in Lawndale. (WPVI)

Authorities have released the name of the suspect who was shot and killed by police after allegedly firing blank rounds at an off-duty officer during a robbery attempt in Philadelphia's Lawndale section.

The man is identified as 33-year-old Andrew Ellerbe from the 2300 block of North Garnet Street.

The incident happened just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday in the 6900 block of Rising Sun Avenue.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said the detective had just ordered food at Rising Sun Pizza when Ellerbe and another man walked in.

They allegedly took $20 from the detective's hand and Ellerbe allegedly put a gun to his head while forcing him to the ground.

The suspects then turned around to the counter where the owner and employee were standing. The officer identified himself and pulled out his gun.

Police say Ellerbe then fired two shots at point blank range at the officer.

The detective returned fire, and hit Ellerbe who later collapsed on the 500 block of Tyson Street and died.

Action News has learned Ellerbe's gun was a 6-shot revolver loaded with blank rounds.

The weapon contained two fired blank cartridges and four live blank cartridges, according to police.

Video obtained from the restaurant depicts muzzle flash from the weapon when the suspect fired it at the detective.

That detective fired back with his Glock.

"He did what he had to do and his actions were nothing short of brave. Unfortunately somebody died but he defended his life and the lives of others," said Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross, Philadelphia Police.

The second suspect fled and remains at large.

The incident is under investigation.
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philly newsshootingpolice-involved shootingpolicephiladelphia policeNortheast Philadelphia
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