A man shot to death by a Delaware police officer Wednesday night is likely the same man who was shot by Philadelphia police two hours earlier, police said.
During the Philadelphia altercation, police said the suspect used a minivan to strike and drag a city officer, then crashed and stole another vehicle.
Four children ages 2 to 6 were in the back of the minivan during the altercation, shooting and crash in Philadelphia, authorities said. Police did not say whether they traveled to Philadelphia with the wounded suspect.
The man was not named by police but was identified in media reports as 28-year-old Leroy Brown of Philadelphia. Brown was killed by a New Castle County officer about 7:45 p.m. after an altercation in the 100 block of Carriage Way near New Castle.
Written accounts by New Castle County and Philadelphia police describe a chaotic, frightening scene in both jurisdictions.
The string of events that led to Brown’s death began about 5:40 p.m. when two officers responded to a report of a “person with a gun” by someone known to carry firearms at 56th Street and Whitby Avenue in southwest Philadelphia, city police said.
Officers saw the man enter the driver’s side of a 2016 Dodge Caravan, where a 26-year-old woman was sitting in the front passenger seat. Police said they tried to stop the man from driving off, but he accelerated in reverse, striking an officer standing by his door.
That officer saw the man reach under his seat, police said, and fired his service weapon, hitting the man in his left side.
At the time, Philadelphia police said, they did not know four young children — two boys and two girls — were in the minivan. Nor would they say when officers discovered children were inside.
Brown drove off and soon crashed into a 2003 Dodge Neon driven by a 23-year-old man who suffered minor injuries. He kept driving toward Island Avenue and Lindbergh Boulevard, where the Caravan became disabled, police said. Brown left the minivan and stole a parked 2011 Dodge Avenger whose engine was running. The woman and four chidren also got into the Avenger and Brown drove off, police wrote.
Police who responded to that scene found blood inside the Caravan. They checked area hospitals for the man but were unsuccessful. The officer suffered cuts and bruises to his thigh, elbow and forehead, city police said.
At about 7:45 p.m., New Castle County police went to Coachman’s Manor apartment complex off Del. 9 near New Castle on Carriage Way to look for a man who was reportedly shot by Philadelphia police, county police said. The Delaware police account did not mention the presence of a female or child passengers.
The suspect fled on foot, ran to a parked vehicle and tried to drive off. “An officer attempted to apprehend the suspect when the suspect engaged in conduct which resulted in the officer discharging the officer’s departmentally issued handgun,” county police wrote in a news release issued about 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
In an earlier release Thursday morning, county police wrote that officers were conducting a “welfare check” when they “engaged in a struggle with an officer and shots were fired.”
The county account did not provide more details about the altercation in Delaware that preceded the fatal police shooting. WHYY contacted county police but officials did not return calls.