A black man, 27, said to be suffering a mental health crisis and allegedly armed with a knife was gunned down in the street by two Philadelphia cops Monday afternoon moments after his distraught mom tried to restrain him.
Walter Wallace, a father who had recently got married, was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday when officers were called out to reports of a domestic incident at Locust and South 61st streets in Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia.
Bystander footage shows the cops shouting at Wallace to 'put the knife down' and him walking with his arm out before the two cops offload a hail of bullets into his body.
Black man, 27, armed with a knife is gunned down by two Philadelphia cops after his distraught mom tried to restrain him pic.twitter.com/XOGrxl9A9P— USA GAG (@USAGAG2) October 27, 2020
Philadelphia police said Wallace had a knife and didn't comply with officers' demands to drop it.
The man's family said he had mental health issues and was on medication.
The cops involved in the shooting have not been identified but the footage appears to show they are two white males.
Wallace's death is just the latest in a string of police killings of black men and women across America in recent months, with another black man shot dead outside a liquor store in San Bernardino just four days earlier.
The deadly shooting unfolded when the two officers responded to a domestic call around 4 p.m. in the predominantly black neighborhood in the city.
The footage shot on a witness's smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of homes in the residential neighborhood.
A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring through the air.
Two officers have their guns pointing at him as he heads in the direction away from them.
'Yo this is crazy out here,' the person behind the camera is heard saying of the commotion.
The footage moves off Wallace to the cops with one in the road and another on the pavement a little way up the street.
The cops begin backing up as Wallace re-emerges in frame walking between other cars into the road toward them.
The officers continue to back away from him in the road, with their guns still drawn as Wallace walks toward the officers with his arm outstretched.
'Put the knife down, put the knife down,' one officer can be heard saying in the clip.
It is not clear in the footage if he had a knife in his hand.
Wallace continues walking toward them and both officers open fire, with at least seven shots heard.
Wallace then collapses in the street as screams ring out.
His mother runs over towards her son with her arms in the air, hysterically screaming 'no'.
She then appears to throw something at one of the cops.
Several other bystanders also rush over with their arms in the air as one cop approaches Wallace's body while the other is seen speaking into his radio.
'My god! Oh my god, 'the man recording the footage says.
'They just killed him in front of me!
'You really had to give him that many f *** ing shots?'
Screaming is heard and Wallace's devastated mom is seen trying to hit one of the officers.
The footage pans round to down the road where two other cops are seen running toward the scene.
Police spokesperson Tanya Little said Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest.
Wallace was then rushed to hospital in a police vehicle where he was pronounced dead soon after.
It is not clear how many times he was shot but at least a dozen evidence markers were seen at the scene.
Both officers have been taken off street duty, pending an investigation as Philadelphia officials announced a full probe into the fatal shooting.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp said officers ordered Wallace to drop the weapon, and he 'advanced towards the officers'.
Gripp said investigators are reviewing footage of what happened.
Both officers were wearing body cameras at the time but the footage has not been released.
Wallace's devastated father said he believed his son was shot 10 times as questions are mounting over the use of deadly force.
He said the 27-year-old had mental health issues and was on medication at the time.
'Why didn't they use a taser?' he asked outside his family's residence.
'His mother was trying to diffuse the situation.'
His family also revealed Wallace was a father who had recently got married.
Maurice Holloway, who witnessed the killing, said several people had tried to calm the situation before the officers opened fire.
'I'm yelling,' Put down the gun, put down the gun, 'and everyone is saying,' Don't shoot him, he's gonna put it down, we know him, '' Holloway told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
'They were too far from him, it was so many shots.'
Several neighbors told NBC 10 Wallace was a 'wonderful man' who loved his children and family.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kennedy issued a statement Monday night, saying: '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.
'I spoke tonight with Mr. Wallace's family, and will continue to reach out to hear their concerns firsthand, and to answer their questions to the extent that I am able,' he continued, promising a full investigation would be carried out.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw also offered residents her 'assurance that those questions will be fully addressed by the investigation.'
'I have directed the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit to begin its investigation,' Outlaw said.
'I recognize that the video of the incident raises many questions.
'While at the scene this evening, I heard and felt the anger of the community,' she said.
'Everyone involved will forever be impacted. I will be leaning on what the investigation gleans to answer the many unanswered questions that exist.
'I also plan to join the Mayor in meeting with members of the community and members of Mr. Wallace's family to hear their concerns as soon as it can be scheduled.'
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday his office's Special Investigation Unit would be working with police on the investigation.
'The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office takes its obligation to try to be fair and to seek evenhanded justice seriously,' Krasner said.
'The DAO Special Investigation Unit responded to today's fatal shooting of a civilian by police shortly after it occurred, and has been on scene with other DAO personnel since that time investigating, as we do jointly with the PPD Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Unit, in shootings and fatalities by other means involving police.
'In the hours and days following this shooting, we ask Philadelphians to come together to uphold people's freedom to express themselves peacefully and to reject violence of any kind.'
City Council member Jamie Gauthier blasted Wallace's death a 'downright tragedy' and demanded police immediately release the body camera footage of the incident.
'Had these officers valued the life of this Black man - had they treated him as a person experiencing mental health issues, instead of a criminal - we might be spared our collective outrage at yet another injustice at the hands of police,' Gauthier said.
Meanwhile, John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said the organization was standing by the officers and said police were being 'vilified this evening for doing their job and keeping the community safe, after being confronted by a man with a knife. '
'We support and defend these officers, as they too are traumatized by being involved in a fatal shooting.'
Protests erupted in the city Monday night as the nation continues to be rocked by multiple cop killings of black men and women.
Demonstrators have been taking to the streets nationwide for months demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism following the Memorial Day 'murder' of George Floyd.
Floyd died back in May after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he begged for air and said 'I can't breathe'.
Chauvin and the three other cops involved were fired and charged over the killing.
Last week a judge dismissed the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin but maintained second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
This came after EMT Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot six times in March when three plainclothes officers performed a botched raid at her Louisville apartment.
Last month, a grand jury decided not to bring any charges against the three cops involved in her death, with only one officer charged in connection to the incident - not for Taylor's death but for wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment.
In June, unarmed father Rayshard Brooks was shot dead while he ran from cops in the drive-thru of a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta.
Then, in August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white cop in front of his three young children, leaving the father-of-six paralyzed from the waist down.
In early September, footage was released by the family of Daniel Prude, 41, showing cops in Rochester, New York, putting a spit hood over his face and pushing his face into the ground for two minutes until he passed out and died on March 23 .
Earlier this month, unarmed black city worker Jonathan Price was shot dead outside a gas station by a white cop in Texas, as he was reportedly trying to break up a domestic incident.
On Thursday night, Mark Matthew Bender Jr., 35, was shot dead by a San Bernardino police officer who was responding to reports of someone jumping on cars.
Bystander cellphone footage shows Bender and the cop struggling on the ground at the 200 block of West Base Line Street outside King Tut Liquor before the officer stands, pulls out his gun and opens fire on the black man.
Police released the bodycam footage from the incident revealing the cop pointed his gun at Bender as soon as he spotted him strolling past the store - as the force defended the officer saying Bender was armed with an unregistered gun.