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November 01, 2007
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Officer shot during Philly holdup dies

Officer Down: Police Officer Charles Cassidy

By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A police officer shot in the head during a robbery in a doughnut shop died Thursday morning, the police commissioner said, and his killer remained at large. He was the third city officer shot in the span of four days.

Charles Cassidy, 54, was shot in the forehead Wednesday at a Dunkin' Donuts when a hooded robber spun from the counter and fired at him as he walked in the door, according to an employee.

The 25-year police veteran died at 9:40 a.m. Thursday at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.

''This is a sad day for the city of Philadelphia,'' Johnson said.

Police released portions of a chilling videotape that shows the hooded robber pushing aside two customers and waving a gun as he approaches the counter. It also shows him grabbing the Cassidy's pistol as he fled.

The suspect hadn't been found Thursday. Johnson said video showed the gunman running through the shop's parking lot with a distinctive gait, almost as if he had a limp.

''We still have an armed and dangerous man out there in the streets of Philadelphia,'' Johnson said.

The officer came in twice a day for a large coffee with cream and sugar, shop employee Sandra Kim said. ''He's always nice to all the employees,'' she said. ''The officer was just coming in for a cup of coffee like normal.''

Johnson said the officer was doing a routine check on the shop, which had been robbed Sept. 18. He said he didn't think the robber got away with any money.

The shooting came about 12 hours after a masked gunman shot traffic Officer Mario Santiago in the shoulder during a chase downtown.

Santiago was responding to a report of a gunman in a sport utility vehicle shooting at another car, injuring two men and a woman, police said.

He was chasing the SUV when the gunman eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car, firing twice through the window. Santiago was hit once in the right shoulder, Johnson said.

Santiago was in fair condition Wednesday.

Early Sunday, an officer responding to a melee at a West Philadelphia nightclub was shot in the ankle. More than two dozen bullets were fired, police said. One suspect was fatally shot and another was arrested.

A prayer service for Cassidy was scheduled for Friday morning at City Hall.






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