A 27-year-old Black man was shot and killed by police Monday in West Philadelphia after he refused to drop a knife, authorities said. Philadelphia investigators say they were responding to a domestic incident when they encountered the slain man, identified by family as Walter Wallace Jr., who was in “some sort of altercation” with another individual. Police said that just before 4 p.m., two officers—who have since been taken off the street—fired at Wallace after he refused to drop his knife and “advanced towards the officers.” He later died at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. In a video of the shooting, Wallace appears to be at least 10 feet away from the officers when they open fire several times. Witnesses said he wasn’t “charging” at the cops. “My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace. I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace’s family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns first-hand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able.”
Neighbors crowded around police at the scene. “Why was it the fact that the first thing the officers used was to pull their weapon on that man? They didn’t use a Taser,” one man said.