Looters ransack Philadelphia businesses during 2nd night of unrest

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Cleanup continues Wednesday after another night of unrest in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A second night of unrest broke out in the City of Philadelphia Tuesday following the police shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr.

Police said Wallace, 27, was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before officers fired shots Monday afternoon. But his parents said Tuesday night that officers knew their son was in a mental health crisis because they had been to the family's house three times on Monday.

Walter Wallace

Catherine Wallace, his mother, said one of the times, "They stood there and laughed at us."

The Wallace family's attorney, Shaka Johnson, said the man's wife, Dominique Wallace, is pregnant and is scheduled to have labor induced Wednesday.

"When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun... where are the proper tools for the job?" Johnson said, arguing that Philadelphia police officers are not properly trained to handle mental health crises. Johnson said Wallace's brother had called 911 to request medical assistance and an ambulance.

Two of Walter Wallace's nine children briefly spoke at a news conference late Tuesday, along with Wallace's mother and father.

"We used to always hang out and we used to always go place and always play around. He used to always teach me how to be a man," son Zamir Wallace said.

Video captured Wallace Jr.'s altercation with officers before he was killed.

"Put the knife down, put the knife down," one officer can be heard saying.

RAW VIDEO: Video shows officers yelling 'put the knife down' before fatal shooting

Police said the two officers fired their weapons and struck Wallace multiple times after he would not drop a knife.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Frank Vanore said each officer fired seven rounds, but it's not yet known at this time how many bullets struck Wallace.

Both officers were wearing body cameras and were taken off street duty pending the investigation. Authorities say the officers did not have tasers.

Not all Philadelphia officers carry them. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Tuesday she has already asked that additional funding be added to the budget for tasers.

WATCH: Walter Wallace Jr. shooting: Philadelphia officer hit by vehicle during overnight unrest

"Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation. Everyone involved including the officers will be forever impacted by this tragedy," said Outlaw.

About 500 people had gathered at a West Philadelphia park Tuesday night and began marching peacefully through the neighborhood, chanting and demanding the names of the officers who opened fire.

WATCH: Chopper 6 was over a peaceful protest in West Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Looters hit more businesses

After looting Monday night into Tuesday morning in West Philadelphia, hundreds of people were back out ransacking businesses 24 hours later.

Chopper 6 was overhead as hundreds of people could be seen running in and out of businesses along Aramingo Avenue in the city's Port Richmond section, including a Foot Locker, Burlington, Target and Dollar General. Some could be seen with their hands full of merchandise, jumping in cars before police arrived.

WATCH: Looters ransack businesses in Philadelphia Port Richmond section

There was no immediate word of arrests Tuesday, but as a result of Monday's unrest, police say 76 people were arrested for burglary including three with guns, 11 were arrested for assaulting police officers, and three were arrested for failure to disperse. There are still several ongoing investigations not included in the numbers, Outlaw said.

Police had previously said 30 officers were injured in the Monday night unrest, most of them hit with thrown objects like bricks. One officer was still hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being purposely run over by a pickup truck, police said.

WATCH: Looters hit several businesses in Philadelphia after officers fatally shoot Walter Wallace Jr.

Wallace family speaks out

Walter Wallace Jr.'s mother, Catherine Wallace, said Tuesday that she pleaded with police officers before they shot and killed her son.

"I was telling police to stop. 'Don't shoot my son, please don't shoot my son,'" she said. "They paid me no mind, and shot my son."

"I will need help," said Wallace's father, adding that no parent should ever experience what their family has gone through.

The shooting happened in front of Wallace's mother who was trying to defuse the situation.

Family members also said Wallace's wife, who is to be induced into labor with his daughter on Wednesday, also witnessed the fatal shooting.

READ MORE: Family of Walter Wallace Jr., man shot by Philly police, says he suffered mental break

Commissioner Outlaw said that it was unclear what the responding officers knew about Wallace.

An Action News Investigation found Wallace was an aspiring rapper with social media accounts filled with videos.

Guns were a central theme as he rhymed about shooting people, including police. His videos also included songs about social causes and police injustice.

Court records show Wallace was currently awaiting trial for allegedly threatening to shoot a woman and her house up.

In 2013, he pled guilty to assault and resisting arrest after punching a police officer in the face.

A judge ordered Wallace to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment as far back as 2013.

READ MORE: Action News Investigation: Who was Walter Wallace Jr., the man shot by Philadelphia police?

A city on alert

Philadelphia police urged residents in the northern and western sections to remain indoors Tuesday night. Police issued the advisory for the following districts: 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th.

No curfew was issued for the city Tuesday night.

At least two police officers were reported to be injured after being hit by rocks during the second night of unrest in the area of 52nd and 51st street between Market and Chestnut streets. They were taken to Penn Presbyterian Hospital for their injuries and their conditions are unknown at this time.

WATCH: Commissioner Outlaw updates police response after shooting, unrest

At the direction of Governor Tom Wolf, and PEMA, the Pennsylvania National Guard says it is mobilizing several hundred members "in support of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and assist Philadelphia police in protecting life, property and the right to peacefully assemble and protest."

WATCH: New video shows moments after Philadelphia police shoot, kill Walter Wallace Jr.

What happens next?

Commissioner Outlaw said the shooting investigation is still ongoing.

The department is completing a threat assessment on whether to release the names of the officers involved. Outlaw said the names would be released as long as that does not put the officers' safety at risk.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 President John McNesby is asking the public for its patience "as this investigation moves forward."

"We're confident that investigators will conduct an exhaustive and transparent review of all the facts related to this tragic incident," said McNesby.

Outlaw said it has not been determined when or if the officers' bodycam footage will be released. She said she expects to release more info about the investigation by Thursday.