By Vernon Clark
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia police officers gunned down a knife-wielding man in Center City yesterday after he yelled "Kill me" and lunged at them, police said.
The hail of police bullets at Ninth and Market Streets also wounded a motorist who had stopped his car to watch the commotion.
The 2 a.m. incident was the second fatal police shooting of 2007 and continues a record-setting pace. Last year, Philadelphia police fatally shot 20 people, the most since 1980, according to FBI records.
Police did not release the identity of the man killed yesterday.
The drama began with a report of a window being broken at the post office building at Ninth and Market Streets, police said.
Capt. Benjamin Naish, a police spokesman, said arriving officers saw the man with the knife and ordered him to drop it. He refused, Naish said.
Officers then used an electronic stun gun on the man, but the weapon failed to subdue him, Naish said.
He said the man yelled, "Kill me," to the officers and lunged at them.
Naish said numerous officers opened fire, striking the man "multiple times." He wouldn't elaborate on how many officers fired or how many shots were fired. The man was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:09 a.m., Naish said.
The motorist who was wounded had stopped his car and gotten out when he was unable to pass the police activity, Naish said. A bullet grazed his thigh but he declined medical treatment. Naish would not release the name of the wounded man, who he said didn't know the man who was killed. The officers involved in the shooting were assigned to administrative duty -- routine when officers fire their guns -- while the Homicide Unit and the Internal Affairs Division investigate, Naish said.
In the first minutes of the new year, police fatally shot an unarmed man, Bryan Jones, 20, in the head as he and a nephew fled officers on Haddington Lane near 59th Street in the city's Overbrook section. A police officer shouted at him to stop and fired, saying he saw Jones reaching for his waistband.
Police said after the shooting they recovered nine guns from a nearby porch roof and house. That shooting remains under investigation.
Police killed 20 civilians last year, surpassing the 18 killed in 1997. Police fatally shot seven people in 2005 and 14 in 2004.
Copyright 2007 Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia police fatally shoot man armed with knife yelling 'kill me'