Last updated: 12 months ago
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross says there are aspects of this officer-involved shooting that concern him, most notably a surveillance video from a business that shows the man was running away from police when he was shot.
Authorities say the shooting began when a 15th Precinct officer was driving down Whitaker Avenue while transporting witnesses to the Special Victims Unit.
According to police, the officer says he was alarmed when he noticed a man driving a dirt bike erratically. The dirt bike stalled and the officer decided to pull up next to it.
Police say the officer got out and began to frisk the man on the bike when he felt a gun inside the man’s waistband and jumped back.
The officer drew his weapon and says the man pulled away from him and grabbed for the gun.
Surveillance video nearby captures the man running away from the officer when he was fatally wounded.
The man had already dropped the loaded 9 millimeter gun.
On Friday night, that man has been identified by family as 30-year-old David Jones.
“I love him and I’m just sad that this happened,” said David’s father, Thomas Jones.
This father, lost in grief and disappointment, is not one ready to point any blame over his son’s police-involved shooting death.
“I’m not really mad, but just in shock you know. He was just here eating with us the other night,” Jones said. “He tells me everything but he never said he had a gun or anything.”
Jones explains that like him, his son David worked as a truck driver, willing to do long hauls that brought him back to the area every few weeks. On this trip home, he told his family he was ready to sell his dirt bike.
“We said that was a good thing because you know those dirt bikes [are] nothing but trouble,” said Jones.
“We are outraged that a young black man was shot in the back by a police officer. We want to support the family of that person and call for the accountability of this police officer,” said Abdul-aliy Muhammad of the Black and Brown Workers Collective.
Ross says it is that part of the shooting that alarms him.
“We just want to make sure that given what we can see on video, from the vantage point that it fits departmental protocol,” said Ross. “I’m not concerned at this time of the DA charges or anything like that. My concern is the fact that it doesn’t meet departmental protocol.”
Ross says officers are authorized to use deadly force, even if the person is running away, when they believe the subject poses an immediate deadly threat.
The officer involved in the shooting has been put on administrative leave.
The names of the officer have not yet been released.