“Both officers ordered the male to stop and to drop the knife. However, the male ignored their verbal commands, and began to walk towards the officers,” authorities said.
What ensued was captured on video. The 31-year-old man stood on a curb, swaying unsteadily. As he stumbled forward, officers raised their weapons, shouting at him to drop the knife. Several feet away, a group of witnesses begged the officers not to shoot. Around 20 to 30 people were present, said NBC Philadelphia’s Aaron Baskerville, who was among the first reporters on the scene.
“We know him. He’s just high, he’s just high. Please don’t shoot him, oh my God, just tase him,” one eyewitness is heard screaming on video. “Officer, I know him, I know him!” another yells. From the windows of the surrounding apartments, neighbors scream for the officers to stop. “Danny, they’re going to kill you!” someone calls out.
The man moved forward toward the noise. Then five gunshots are heard.
Philadelphia authorities declined to reveal the identities of the officers involved or the man who was shot. An eyewitness told The Washington Post that the man was homeless and went by the name Danny.
According to police, the suspect was hit in the abdomen and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he is in critical condition.
In another video of the scene after the shooting, an eyewitness can be heard shouting at officers: “Y’all did not have to do that, man! We know him!” When witnesses pushed forward toward the crowd of officers, police told them to back off. One officer can be seen on video taking out a baton.
The shooting, in a Philadelphia neighborhood often described as an “open-air narcotics market,” capped a rash of violence that plagued the city over Labor Day weekend, leaving six people dead and several more injured. The shooting also comes less than three weeks after a man shot and wounded six officers in an eight-hour standoff turned gun battle in North Philadelphia. Maurice Hill, 36, was charged with attempted murder and assault in that incident.