New video shows confrontation before deadly police shooting; injured officer released from hospital

Police are still searching for Jose Quinones-Mendez who is accused of stealing the suspect's gun after the shooting.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Officer injured in deadly police shooting released from hospital
Officer injured in fatal police shooting released from hospital; new video shows confrontation

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia police officer who was shot during a confrontation with an apparent armed suspect was released from the hospital on Monday. This, as a social media video of the confrontation before the shooting is raising questions about what led to the incident.

Action News was there as the officer was escorted out of Temple University Hospital. The officer has not yet been identified by the department.

The shooting happened on January 26 inside Jennifer Tavern on the corner of N. Mascher and W. Cambria streets in North Philadelphia.

The officer who was shot was released Monday afternoon from Temple University Hospital.

Police say the 24th district officers entered the business around 8:46 p.m. and approached a group of males.

While attempting to stop one of them, police say the suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Alexander Spencer, scuffled with police and then fired one shot, which hit the officer in the leg.

The officer's partner then returned fire, striking Spencer who later died at Temple University Hospital.

Police officer shot inside corner store in North Philadelphia; suspect dead

Video of shooting raises questions

Those who were on the scene are questioning why police initially went into the grocery store.

In video posted on social media and now under investigation by the department shows a portion of the incident.

Action News is showing the beginning of the video captured by a witness who started recording after police were already in a struggle with Spencer on the ground. It has also been blurred.

New video from the night of the shooting is being used in the investigation that left a man dead and an officer injured.

Officers say that's when Spencer allegedly shot one officer in the leg and the officer's partner returned fire.

However, by watching the video, it's unclear who fired shots first.

You can hear the witness questioning police and then an officer calling for help.

"I need someone right now. My partner is shot," one of the officers is heard saying to his radio.

Investigators have not said why they tried to stop Spencer or what led to it.

But friends of Spencer explained to Action News what they saw.

"They frisked like three people that day right there. They came in there and was like, 'Any guns?' They said, 'No.' They made them lift up their jackets. "S" didn't argue because he wasn't the arguing type. He was real quiet," recalled the friend.

Action News reached out to Philadelphia police to see if they could confirm whether officers stopped and frisked Spencer and others. We did not get an answer, but we're told police will hold a news conference Tuesday morning to provide an update on the incident.

Gun theft after shooting

Police are also still searching for 42-year-old Jose Quinones-Mendez, the man who allegedly stole the suspect's gun after the shooting.

The gun theft was also not captured on the social media video recorded by the witness.

Quinones-Mendez is facing several charges, including obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. He is considered armed and dangerous, according to police.

The FOP is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to Quinones-Mendez's arrest.

"Our reward is payable immediately, if the tip information leads to the whereabouts of this individual," said FOP Lodge #5 President Roosevelt Poplar.

SEE ALSO: $10K reward offered after man allegedly takes gun from scene of deadly Philadelphia police shooting

Philadelphia police identify man sought for taking gun from scene of officer shooting

Quinones-Mendez is described as being 5'8" tall and approximately 160 lbs.

Spencer's friends have since created a memorial in his honor outside of the store where they say he often went to play the slot machines.

"I just feel like I just want to know what really happened. What did he do? Y'all could've just arrested him. Y'all could've just done way better," said one of Spencer's friends who did not want to be identified.

The wounded officer has been on the force for nine years and the officer who fired the shot has been on the force for five years.

Anyone with information on Quinones-Mendez's whereabouts is being asked to call the Philadelphia police homicide unit at 215-686-3334 or 911.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker

The Associated Press contributed to this post.