Christopher Sowell, 32

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 28, 2016

Agencies: Philadelphia Police Department Pennsylvania

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: about 6 years ago


Philadelphia police officers shot and killed a man who injured five people, including his son and daughter, during a stabbing spree in the Cobbs Creek section of the city, police said.

Police said the unidentified man first attacked his 15-year-old daughter at a home on the 6200 block of Hazel Avenue Wednesday night and grabbed her throat. He then allegedly stabbed his 8-year-old son and a 13-year-old family friend in their chest and throat.

The man then allegedly went over to a family friend's home on Webster Street and asked for something to eat. He then stabbed a 70-year-old woman and punched a 42-year-old woman in the face, according to police.

Police responded to the scene and confronted the man. Officials say the responding officers demanded several times that the man take his hands out of his pants. The man then allegedly moved abruptly and the officers opened fire, killing him.

Nine Philadelphia police officers fired a total of 109 shots Wednesday night at Christopher Sowell, killing him and ending a rampage in West Philadelphia in which he beat, choked or stabbed five people, including his son and daughter, Commissioner Richard Ross announced Friday.

Ross said he did not know how many times Sowell, 32, was hit, but said most of the wounds were to his lower body.

The commissioner acknowledged that the volume of gunfire was high.

"Clearly, 109 rounds is a significant cause of concern, regardless of what the circumstances are," Ross told reporters gathered at Police Headquarters. "It is not an indictment of the police officers, but it may be a significant training issue we need to address."