Violent protests erupted Monday night after Philadelphia police fatally shot a Black man who they say wielded a knife.
Per the Associated Press, officers were called to the Cobbs Creek neighborhood in response to reports of a person with a weapon.
At the scene, the man — later identified by councilmember Jamie Gauthier as Walter Wallace — held a knife, says police spokesperson Tanya Little.
When cops ordered Wallace to drop his knife, Wallace allegedly “advanced towards” the cops, prompting them to fire at him “several times.”
Authorities say Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest and was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital.
As seen in a disturbing social media video, a woman believed to be his mother runs up to Wallace following the shooting, expressing her grief.
Though it is unclear if Wallace had a knife, the AP says witnesses say he was holding one.
After word of the incident broke, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of George Floyd, tweeted the video late Monday night and criticized the cops for making “NO attempts at de-escalating the situation in this video.”
"Philadelphia cops fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. today, firing 10+ times at him while he stood at least 10ft away," Crump wrote. "He allegedly had a knife but cops made NO attempts at de-escalating the situation in this video. They went straight to killing Wallace in front of his loved ones!"
Philadelphia cops fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. today, firing 10+ times at him while he stood at least 10ft away. He allegedly had a knife but cops made NO attempts at de-escalating the situation in this video. They went straight to killing Wallace in front of his loved ones! pic.twitter.com/U2zYGqK7Ag— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 27, 2020
TMZ on Monday says that Wallace’s father Walter Wallace Sr. told reporters that his son suffered from mental health issues and was on medication.
The names of the officers who fired the shots were not immediately disclosed.
The AP says that both cops wore body cameras and were taken off street duty after the incident.
Later that night, protesters stormed the streets of Philadelphia, denouncing the actions of the police.
it’s getting crazy in West Philly right now pic.twitter.com/tkFUF35mKZ— Robio 👿 (@rmadden97) October 27, 2020
Per TMZ, at least 30 Philadelphia police officers were injured and 33 demonstrators were arrested for rioting, vandalism, and looting.
Additionally, police say multiple businesses were looted and damaged, and five police vehicles as well as one fire vehicle were vandalized.
TMZ also reports that a 56-year-old female sergeant suffered a broken leg and other injuries after she was struck by a pickup truck. Per the Philadelphia Police Department, she remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Both Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw have announced investigations into Wallace’s death.