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A protester raised her arms in front of a line of police officers holding riot shields.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

This story was last updated at 1:44 a.m. on Oct. 27. Please check back for new updates.

Two police officers shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man in West Philadelphia on Monday afternoon, leading to protests near Penn's campus on Monday evening.

The man was identified by his family as Walter Wallace Jr., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. According to the Inquirer, a bystander-filmed video showed that Wallace Jr. was armed with a knife and appeared further than arm's length away from the officers when they opened fire.

The shooting happened at approximately 4 p.m. at 61st and Locust streets. Wallace Jr. was later pronounced dead at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, the Inquirer reported

Police spokesperson Sgt. Eric Gripp told the Inquirer that Wallace Jr. advanced towards the policemen after they ordered him to drop the knife. Gripp was unsure how many times police shot Wallace Jr. One witness said he appeared to have been shot about a dozen times, according to the Inquirer.

Credit: Jonah Charlton

Approximately 50 protesters were seen heading eastbound on Sansom Street from 40th Street at approximately 9:30 p.m., according to Penn's Division of Public Safety. The windows of the Starbucks located at 39th and Walnut streets were reportedly shattered. 

By 11:00 p.m., a larger group of protesters of approximately 100 people was seen at 53rd and Pine streets chanting, “No good cop in a racist system," and  “Racist ass cops; we don’t need them." They heaved trash cans and other large objects into the street in an attempt to impede police officers who trailed behind them.

Once protesters reached 55th and Pine streets, approximately 20 police officers formed a barricade with riot shields to prevent them from proceeding further. Thirty more officers arrived on the scene, adding to the barricade. The line of officers stretched between 53rd and 55th streets on Pine Street, leaving protesters trapped.

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

Approximately 20 minutes later, the policemen began pushing the group eastbound back toward 54th and Pine streets. Protesters responded, throwing bricks towards the line of police. 

“This is your one and only warning to disperse,” a police officer told protesters at 11:24 p.m. By 11:35 p.m., nearly the entire group had dispersed, and police had begun to take off their riot gear. 

Following the dispersal near 54th Street, some demonstrators regrouped and were joined by others to continue protesting southbound at 52nd and Chestnut streets. The group lit fireworks in the streets and a police car was set ablaze. 

As police moved northbound toward the protesters, the protesters attempted to form a physical barricade with garbage cans and debris from buildings that had been broken into nearby.

By 1:15 a.m., the vast majority of protesters had dispersed from the corner of 52nd and Walnut streets, leaving only a few groups watching the approximately 50 police officers mill about the debris-laden streets.

Credit: Sage Levine

Before protests erupted across the city on Monday night, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner wrote a statement addressing the fatal shooting and urging Philadelphians to remain peaceful.

“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," Krasner wrote.

Both officers are off street duty, pending an investigation, the Inquirer reported. Wallace Jr.'s father told the Inquirer that his son was on medication for mental health issues.

“He has mental issues," the Inquirer reported his father saying. "Why you have to gun him down?”

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney wrote in a statement Monday night that the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit of Philadelphia Police Department will conduct a full investigation of the shooting.

“My prayers are with the family and friends of Walter Wallace,” he wrote. “I have watched the video of this tragic incident and it presents difficult questions that must be answered.”

Philadelphia has seen several protests this spring and summer over the police killings of Black men and women across the country, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

News photo editor Kylie Cooper, senior photographer Chase Sutton, video editor Sage Levine, and photo editor Sukhmani Kaur contributed reporting.

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