01/22/2007

Philly police involved in 3rd fatal shooting in 3 weeks

The York Dispatch

PHILADELPHIA- Police shot and killed a 16-year-old youth who authorities said was armed with a sawed-off shotgun Saturday, the city's third fatal police shooting in three weeks.

Two officers responding to a report of a possible armed robbery in the city's Tacony neighborhood tried to question Tyronn Sparks and another man, police said. When an officer chased Sparks up an alley, Sparks turned and pointed a shotgun at the officer and the officer shot him, police said.

Sparks died at a hospital at 1:30 a.m. from at least one gunshot wound to the buttocks, but authorities would not provide a further explanation of his wound, saying the investigation was continuing. The city medical examiner will determine the cause of death, officials said.

Police said they had determined that Sparks and the other man were not involved in the robbery that the officers were investigating.

Capt. Benjamin Naish, a police spokesman, said the officer was placed on administrative duty, a standard measure during an investigation of an officer-involved shooting.

The shooting came six days after police shot and killed a man after they said an electric stun-gun failed to subdue him.

On New Year's Day, police shot and killed an unarmed 20-year-old man in the city's Overbrook neighborhood as he ran from the scene of gunfire. Police said he had been among a group of men firing guns at officers.

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