Philadelphia, PA – Even as investigators search for possible terrorist links to the driver of the car that attempted to mow down pedestrians on a Philadelphia sidewalk, the city’s top cop was criticizing the heroic actions of the police detective who stopped the would-be murderer in his tracks.
Police said the incident occurred at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 29, when the unnamed off-duty Philadelphia Police Department (PDP) detective from the major crimes unit witnessed a black Honda trying to kill people.
The 31-year-old motorist from Maryland slammed his car into a 40-year-old pedestrian with enough force to throw him onto the Honda’s hood and into the windshield.
A good Samaritan blocked the Honda with his truck, and got out to tell the driver of the Honda that he’d hit someone, and the suspect got out of the Honda and began to chase the good Samaritan, The Inquirer reported.
At that point, the off-duty detective got out of his own vehicle and confronted the suspect.
Witnesses said the detective identified himself and told the suspect to get on the ground, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
“[The suspect] charged the detective immediately upon the detective approaching him. There is a violent struggle that you can see where they’re spinning each other around and around,” Commissioner Ross said.
The suspect hit the detective multiple times, before the off-duty detective fatally shot him, police said.
But even after giving that description of the violent struggle, Commissioner Ross appeared to be throwing the hero of his department under the bus during a press conference on Monday.
The commissioner told the reporters gathered that he had some concerns about the shooting, according to WCAU.
"I do have some concerns about the shooting, in particular whether all the shots were necessary," Commissioner Ross said. "Right now we're canvassing the neighborhood for more video and additional witnesses."
He said the suspect “probably did attempt to, at minimum, disarm the officer, which is why I was not suggesting that there was not a need for any rounds to be fired,” The Inquirer reported.
The confrontation and shooting were captured by dashcam and numerous neighborhood surveillance videos, but the commissioner said investigators were seeking additional video and witnesses.
Police said they had no motive at this time.