Man dead after police standoff in Northeast Philadelphia

Friday, January 19, 2024
Suspect dead after police standoff in North Philadelphia
A man is dead after a police standoff that ended with a police-involved shooting Wednesday morning.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police have identified the man who was killed earlier this week during a SWAT situation in Northeast Philadelphia.

Just before 5 a.m., patrol officers responded to a radio call for an auto accident. When they arrived, an officer approached a Dodge pickup truck that was partially parked on a sidewalk on Borbeck Avenue, just before Roosevelt Boulevard.

The officer spoke to the person in the driver's seat and asked if he needed any service or if there was an auto accident. The individual, who has since been identified as 73-year-old Lawrence Packard, told the officer no.

Police say the suspect is no longer a threat and was pronounced dead at the scene.

As the officer began to drive away, officials said he thought he heard the sound of gunshots, prompting the officer to take a tactical position behind his vehicle while calling for backup.

When backup arrived, supervisors declared the scene a barricade situation and requested SWAT assistance.

When the SWAT team arrived, they experienced more gunfire. That's when two SWAT officers returned fire toward the truck.

Aerial video shows SWAT officers moving in, cornering a pickup truck. A man could be seen in the driver seat.

Medics were also called out and Packard was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials confirm no officers were injured.

The officers involved were Lt. William Schmid, 42, who is a 21-year veteran assigned to SWAT and Patrick Saba, 38, who is a 17-year veteran assigned to SWAT.

Both officers have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the internal affairs and officer-involved shooting investigations.

The initial responding officer's body-worn camera was activated during the incident but did not capture the shooting itself.

The situation unfolded right outside Gary Barbera's car dealership.

Gary Barbera said the gunman had been inside his shop before.

"He had a car that he had brought in for a recall is our understanding, right now. Thank God nobody was hurt, you know, other than him, but I understand the police were right on it, and we couldn't be more happy and grateful," he said.

What remains unexplained at this time is the gunman's motivation to randomly open fire on police.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video.

EDITORS NOTE: It was previously reported that the man was firing a gun from a moving vehicle but police have since said the vehicle was not moving when gunfire rang out.