PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia police shot and killed a suspect during a gun battle Wednesday night, marking the third police-involved shooting in the city on the day its police commissioner said he is seeking a review of the department's use of deadly force.
The latest shooting happened in the city's Germantown section while officers were pursuing at least three suspects, authorities said. A 2-year-old boy also suffered a graze wound during the exchange. Officers were searching for the remaining suspects.
It was the third police-involved shooting in the city on Wednesday and came hours after the police Commissioner Charles Ramsey announced that he is seeking an independent review of the department's deadly force policies. Earlier in the day officers shot a man in the buttocks after police say he pointed a gun; another man was critically injured after he was shot by officers who said he fired at them.
Ramsey cited similar reviews done for the Las Vegas and New York police departments by CNA Analysis and Solutions and the RAND Firearm Evaluation group that had led the departments to adopt new training curriculums and new or revised policies. Ramsey said he had reached out to the federal Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to secure funding and assistance for a review of Philadelphia police practices, training and policies on police-related shootings.
In a letter on the department's Facebook page, Ramsey said the study was not an audit or investigation.
"Consulting with an independent party will ensure credibility and an objective view in this process of evaluating our policies and procedures," he wrote. "My primary concern is the sanctity of life equally for members of this department and the public we serve. At no point am I looking to compromise the safety of our officers."
However, he wrote that it's important to be sure that the department is using best practices.
"Utilizing the resources available to our police department to enhance the department is an intelligent and responsible decision, one that is owed to the public and the members of the department," he wrote.