More News:

August 16, 2023

Police shooting of a man in Kensington sparks confusion, demands for answers

Eddie Irizarry, 27, was fatally shot during a traffic stop near B Street and Erie Avenue on Monday afternoon

Investigations Shootings
Police shooting Kensington THOM CARROLL/for PhillyVoice

A Philadelphia Police officer fatally shot Eddie Irizarry, 27, during a traffic stop in Kensington on Monday afternoon. After initially claiming the man lunged at officers with a knife, police now say he was still seated in his car when the officer shot him.

Details are still coming into focus after Philadelphia police shot and killed a man in Kensington on Monday afternoon. 

Eddie Irizarry allegedly was driving erratically near B Street and Erie Avenue when he was pulled over by two officers from the 24th Police District shortly after noon, according to a press release issued by police. It is unclear exactly what transpired next, but one thing is undeniable: the 27-year-old Irizarry was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital about an hour later.

Police initially said one of the officers shot at Irizarry after he "lunged" at them with a knife and declined to drop his weapon. On Tuesday, police revised their account of events, saying Irizarry was still inside his car when he was shot. The officer who fired at Irizarry is now on administrative leave, according to the Inquirer. 

The shooting has raised questions from Irizarry's family and members of the community. Why, for instance, didn't police officers use non-lethal means – like the tasers they were both carrying – to subdue the man? 

Police are expected to hold a press conference addressing the shooting at 11 a.m. Wednesday. 

It is unclear what circumstances led to the incident, but a relative of Irizarry's told 6ABC that the man had mental health issues and allegedly suffered from schizophrenia. 

Police have said Irizarry was driving erratically and turned the wrong way down Willard Street before he was pulled over. As officers approached his Toyota Corolla, one stated that Irizarry had a weapon, at which point one of them opened fire and shot the man multiple times, police said. 

Local broadcast news footage has showed the car with bullet holes in the windshield. At a press conference on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said that a review of police body cam footage from the incident made it clear that the initial claim that Irizarry had lunged at officers with a weapon was inaccurate. 

"At the time we gave that information, that was the best information that we had available," Outlaw said, expressing regret at the inaccuracy but offering little new detail about the incident. "And we always strive to clarify and update that information as quickly and accurately as possible."

Officers observed two knives in the car, police said. Authorities also confirmed that the incident was captured on body cameras worn by both of the officers, but that footage had not been released as of Wednesday afternoon.