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2 Dead Amid Widespread Looting After Cops Shoot Armed Suspect

Philadelphia, PA – Rioters looted and decimated businesses, punched a reporter in the face, hacked a police vehicle with an ax, and attacked officers with bricks and light bulbs during a second consecutive night of widespread violence on Tuesday.

Police estimated the mob consisted of approximately 1,000 rioters, FOX News reported.

They described the Aramingo Avenue in the Port Richmond are as being a “total loss,” according to KYW.

Police in the 18th District in West Philadelphia are also investigating a double homicide that occurred around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, although it is unclear whether or not the incident was tied to the rioting, WTXF reported.

A 26-year-old male with gunshot wounds to the back and head was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at Penn Presbyterian Hospital, according to police.

Police found the second victim, who was not identified, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and rushed that person to the hospital.

The second victim was pronounced dead at approximately 8:30 p.m., WTXF reported.

The violent uprisings erupted in the wake of the Oct. 26 officer-involved shooting of 27-year-old aspiring rapper Walter Wallace, who was fatally shot by two Philadelphia police officers after he charged towards them with a knife, video footage showed.

Wallace, a father of nine with another child due to be born on Wednesday, was experiencing a “mental crisis” at the time, his family’s attorney told WPVI.

“We always go places,” one of his children said during a press conference prior to Tuesday night’s rioting, according to FOX News. “He always teach [sic] me how to be a man. And these white racist cops got my own dad. And Black Lives still matter.”

Protesters marched through the streets demanding justice for Wallace on Tuesday night, CNN reported.

They also demanded that police release the names of the officers who shot the knife-wielding attacker, according to WPVI.

As they neared the Philadelphia Police Department’s (PPD) 18th District, the group ran into a group of police and began hurling bricks, rocks, and light bulbs at them, CNN reported.

At least one of the officers was hit and injured, leaving a trail of blood behind him as he and the other officers retreated, according to the news outlet.

Police ultimately returned and posted up throughout the area in patrol vehicles.

They also issued an alert urging residents in seven districts to “remain indoors” as violent rioters overtook their neighborhoods.

“The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary,” the department tweeted. “These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.”

News helicopters captured footage showing hundreds of rioters as they ran in and out of multiple businesses in the Port Richmond area carrying armloads of stolen merchandise, WPVI reported.

Target, Foot Locker, Burlington, and Dollar General were among the heavily-looted stores, according to the news outlet.

The Foot Locker store was almost entirely cleared out by the thieves, video footage showed.

The pandemonium continued in the parking lot of a Walmart store as looters rushed to load up their vehicles, nearly colliding with other cars and dropped merchandise as they fled the scene.

At least one member of a news crew said he was attacked by rioters and hit in the face for filming the mayhem.

A KYW helicopter flew over a large fire that someone ignited in the middle of a roadway at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Motorists were forced to drive around the blazing blockade.

“The riots in Philadelphia are the most recent consequence of the Liberal Democrats’ war against the police,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a press release on Wednesday morning. “Law enforcement is an incredibly dangerous occupation, and thousands of officers have given their lives in the line of duty.”

McEnany noted that all incidents of lethal force must be thoroughly investigated, and that facts must prevail.

“The facts must be followed wherever they lead to ensure fair and just results,” she wrote. “In America, we resolve conflicts through the courts and the justice system. We can never allow mob rule.”

“The Trump Administration stands proudly with law enforcement, and stands ready, upon request, to deploy any and all Federal resources to end these riots,” the statement concluded.

It is unclear how many officers were injured on Tuesday night or how many arrests were made during the chaos.

At least two officers were transported to Penn Presbyterian Hospital after being attacked with rocks, according to WPVI.

At least 30 officers were injured and 76 people were arrested during the overnight violence on Monday night, WPVI reported.

One of the officers suffered a broken leg when a pickup truck blasted through a line of officers who were blocking a street, video footage showed.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf activated the National Guard on Tuesday in anticipation of the violent riots that soon followed.

“At the direction of Governor Wolf, and PEMA, the Pennsylvania National Guard is mobilizing several hundred members in support of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and assist local agencies in protecting life, property and the right to peacefully assemble and protest,” Pennsylvania National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Keith Hickox said in a statement released on Oct. 27.

“Assisting civil authorities during time of need is one of our core missions in the National Guard and our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and well-prepared to assist our commonwealth and our communities in any way we can,” Lt. Col. Hickox continued. “We are able to conduct operations in support of civil authorities to enhance local law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security.”

Philadelphia police had responded to Wallace’s home on two occasions on Monday prior to the fatal encounter, FOX News reported.

According to his family, they placed a third call with the intent of having an ambulance come to help him with his mental health crisis.

Philadelphia received a report about a man with a weapon in the 6100-block of Locust Street at approximately 4 p.m., WNYW reported.

Two officers responded to the scene and encountered a suspect who was brandishing a knife.

He was later identified as Wallace.

Cell phone footage showed police as they scrambled to keep distance between themselves and the knife-wielding attacker.

Philadelphia Police spokesperson Sergeant Eric Gripp said the officers repeatedly ordered the suspect to drop the weapon, but that he instead “advanced towards the officers,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

As they backed away into the street, the suspect charged towards them with the blade, at which point police opened fire, the video showed.

One of the officers rushed the wounded suspect to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Sgt. Gripp said.

Wallace’ mother, Catherine Wallace, claimed that police “stood there and laughed at us” during one of their earlier visits to the family’s home that day, WPVI reported.

She said they refused to listen to her when they were called to the home a third time.

“I was telling police to stop. ‘Don’t shoot my son, please don’t shoot my son,'” Catherine Wallace told WPVI. “They paid me no mind, and shot my son.”

Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr., claimed police “butchered” his son, the Associated Press reported.

“It’s in my mind. I can’t even sleep at night. I can’t even close my eyes,” he said.

Shaka Johnson, the attorney representing Wallace’s family, said that Philadelphia police did not respond correctly and that the family only wanted medical assistance, WPVI reported.

The officers were not equipped with Tasers.

“When you come to a scene where somebody is in a mental crisis, and the only tool you have to deal with it is a gun…where are the proper tools for the job?” Johnson asked.

According to WPVI, Wallace was an aspiring rapper who posted a plethora of music videos to his social media accounts.

Much of his content centered around guns and shooting various people, including law enforcement officers.

According to court records, Wallace was waiting to go to trial on allegations that the threatened to shoot a woman and her home when the officer-involved shooting occurred, WPVI reported.

He was convicted of resisting arrest and assault in 2013, after he punched an officer in the face.

The same year, Wallace was court-ordered to complete a psychiatric evaluation and to follow any treatment recommendations, WPVI reported.

It is unclear whether or not he abided by the order.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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