Woman dies after police chase, crash in West Philadelphia

WEST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Family members and friends are heartbroken after getting the news that Carol Isom died in a Wednesday night crash in West Philadelphia.

Police say officers were chasing two men wanted in connection to a shooting along Westminster Avenue just after 7 p.m.

"I heard three gunshots, then I tried to lay back down, then I heard about six more, and then I heard like six more after that," said Steven Hall of West Philadelphia.

Police gave chase. It ended several blocks away at 52nd and Locust streets when police say the suspect's car slammed into a Kia being driven by Isom, a woman who had nothing to do with what was going on.

She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"Obviously pursuits are both dangerous for the public and for police officers, but unfortunately it's a part of what we do," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

Ross says the case is under investigation, but says so far it appears the officers had legitimate reason to chase the car.

"It's just an absolute tragedy. You know we have a very strict policy about pursuits, forcible felony, and this was a forcible felony, obviously, it doesn't get any bigger than shooting at somebody," Ross said.

Investigators say, minutes before the crash, the two men driving the car involved in the police chase were involved in a shootout with another car, which police were not able to locate.

Officers say that shooting was captured on surveillance video, and a 9mm gun was found in the car.

It's not clear what led to the shooting between the two cars, but ultimately it led to a chase, and now an innocent woman is dead and devastated family members are trying to deal with the loss.

"This is an absolute horrible tragedy. Regardless of what precipitated it and why and who's culpable or who is not, a woman died tragically in this, and that's what we have to remember," Ross said.

Police say the two individuals arrested are brothers.

A third individual showed up to the hospital Wednesday night with gunshot wounds. Police believe that man is connected to the brothers and was involved in the shootout. They say he is not cooperating.
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