Driver shot by plainclothes officer in Germantown dies; officer ID'd

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Sunday, December 31, 2017
Deadly police-involved shooting in Germantown
Deadly police-involved shooting in Germantown. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on December 28, 2017.

GERMANTOWN (WPVI) -- Police have identified the man who was shot and killed by a plainclothes Philadelphia officer in Germantown.

Authorities say 25-year-old Dennis Plowden was pronounced dead at the hospital Thursday morning.

Watch Action Cam video from the scene of a police-involved shooting in Germantown on December 27, 2017.

The officer is identified as Eric Ruch, a nine year veteran from the 35th district.

Police say no weapon was found on Plowden or at the scene.

The incident happened around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Nedro and Opal streets.

Police said two plainclothes officers spotted a car suspected to be connected to a homicide that occurred back on December 21 on the 1800 block of East Atlantic Avenue. The description and plates matched a patrol alert.

Officers attempted to stop the car at 16th and Nedro streets. Plowden pulled over, but as officers approached, he allegedly ran down one of the officers as he attempted to drive away.

Police involved shooting in Germantown: Monica Malpass reports on Action News at 11 p.m., December 27, 2017

According to officials, the driver subsequently ran into at least two parked cars; the second officer caught up with the driver at this time.

Police backup arrived, including uniformed officers.

Police said the driver exited the car but had his hand in his pocket. Police said Officer Ruch gave repeated commands for the man to show his hands but he did not comply. Ruch then discharged his service weapon, striking the man in the head.

Both Ruch, who was hit and Plowden were taken to nearby Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Ruch was treated and released.

Plowden was listed in critical condition and died of his injuries several hours later.

Investigators have determined that while the vehicle may have been connected to that December 21 homicide, Plowden himself was not.

"The male was not, at this point, associated with the homicide," 1st Deputy Commissioner Myron Patterson said.

The officer-involved shootings investigations unit is handling the case.

"We want to assure a very objective, transparent, and comprehensive investigation is conducted," Patterson said.

Police say a female passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

She is being questioned by detectives, as the investigation continues.


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