A 27-year-old Black man identified as Walter Wallace who was armed with a knife has been shot and killed by two police officers in West Philadelphia.
Sergeant Eric Gripp, a spokesperson with the Philadelphia Police Department, said that officers confronted Wallace who was holding a knife at the scene.
Gripps said the man was shot multiple times by two officers after he didn’t respond to their calls to drop the weapon. He was later pronounced dead.
A video posted on social media showed Wallace walking toward the police officers. The video swings briefly out of view at the moment the gunfire erupts but he appeared to be multiple feet away from them when they fired numerous shots.
Walter Wallace Sr., the man’s father, said his son appeared to have been shot 10 times.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser?” the senior Wallace asked outside a family residence on the block. “His mother was trying to defuse the situation.”
He said his son struggled with mental health issues and was on medication. “He has mental issues,” Wallace said. “Why you have to gun him down?”
According to The Inquirer, a witness, Maurice Holloway, said he was on the street talking to his aunt when he saw police arrive. Wallace had a knife and was standing on the porch of his home, Holloway said, and officers immediately drew their guns.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw arrived at the scene shortly after the incident as a crowd of neighbors yelled at police and questioned the use of force.
Danielle told the angry crowd: “I have directed the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit to begin its investigation. I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions. Residents have my assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation. While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community. Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist. I also plan to join the Mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace’s family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled.”
Watch the video below: