August 17, 2023
Philadelphia police have identified the officer who opened fire into a car in Kensington on Monday, fatally shooting 27-year-old driver Eddie Irizarry as he sat parked.
The circumstances of the shooting led to confusion this week when police initially said Irizarry had been shot outside of his car and that he had lunged at police with a knife. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw later revised the story when further evidence, including body-worn camera footage, determined police had fired into Irizarry's stopped car while he was in the front seat.
Mark Dial, a five-year veteran of the police department, was named Thursday as the officer who fired at Irizarry. Dial has been placed on restricted duty as police conduct an internal investigation to determine whether his use of deadly force followed protocol.
Around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dial and his partner were in their police cruiser when they spotted Irizarry driving his car erratically in the area of B Street and Erie Avenue, police said. According to investigators, Dial's partner drove after the Toyota Corolla until Irizarry went the wrong way down the 100 block of East Willard Street and parked his car.
Dial's partner, who has not been identified, then got out of the police cruiser and approached the Toyota on the passenger side. According to police, Dial moved toward the vehicle on the driver's side, and when Dial's partner attempted to open the passenger side door, he shouted that Irizarry had a weapon. Dial fired into the vehicle multiple times, police said. Irizarry was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he died a short time later.
It was later discovered that Irizarry had a pair of knives in the car. It's unclear if a knife was in Irizarry's hand at the time of the shooting.
Irizarry's family has demanded answers from police and called on them to release body camera footage from the shooting. The family held a vigil for Irizarry Wednesday night. They told 6ABC he had schizophrenia and did not speak much English.
"The story changes, and it's going to keep changing. They're going to keep changing it," said Irizarry's aunt, Zoraida Garcia. "But, we're going to get to the bottom of this. We're going to show that they were wrong."
During a press conference Wednesday, Outlaw said the police department regretted sharing information that turned out to be incorrect.
"At the time we gave that information, that was the best information that we had available," Outlaw said. "And we always strive to clarify and update that information as quickly and accurately as possible."
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is conducting an investigation into the shooting that will be done alongside the ongoing internal affairs investigation. Both probes will be monitored by the city's independent Citizens Police Oversight Commission.