Witnesses speak out after officer injured by vehicle before firing fatal shots at suspect

Broken glass and crime scene tape are all that’s left from the end of a chaotic scene Thursday night on the Adams Avenue Bridge over the Tacony Creek.

It all started when a Philadelphia police officer tried to pull over a white sedan on F Street and Roosevelt Boulevard. But police say the driver didn’t stop and the officer followed. Three witnesses in cars helped block the driver in on the bridge.

But police say he still didn’t stop.

"Those independent witnesses say, at some point, they see the door open and then at some point see the car turn into the officer striking him and pinning him against the wall," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said.

The officer, an 8-year veteran working in the 25th District, fired several shots into the windshield of the car. A passenger who jumped out was detained by bystanders. But the driver kept going.


Officer pinned to wall by vehicle before firing fatal shots at driver in Lawncrest: police

A Philadelphia police officer is suffering injuries and a man is dead after police say the officer was hit by a vehicle before firing fatal shots in Lawncrest Thursday evening.

The suspect’s car was found in an ally on the 200 block of Banner Street, about a half mile away. The driver was shot in the torso and taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Octavia Newton, in town working from South Carolina, watched it all go down.

"They were everywhere. They taped off the streets, they taped off here they came down a gurney and a stretcher and they got the gentleman from the car," witness Newton said.

Family members identified the suspect as 36-year-old Curtis Wallace Jr.

Records show he was sentenced to 11 to 23 months for conspiracy and theft. The police officer’s bodyworn camera footage has been turned over to internal investigations. And the three good Samaritans are being credited with assisting that officer.

"The fact we have three independent witnesses who would collectively decide particularly when an officer was by himself, solo, and engaged in this act of bravery - we appreciate it," Commissioner Bethel added.