Police shoot and kill man in Kensington during traffic stop

The shooting happened just after 12:30 p.m. in the 100 block of East Willard Street.

police officers at a crime scene

Philadelphia police on the scene after an officer shot and killed someone in Kensington on August 14, 2023. (6abc)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Police shot and killed a man who was allegedly wielding a knife in Kensington on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

The shooting happened just after 12:30 p.m. in the 100 block of East Willard Street in the city’s Kensington section.

Chopper 6 was live over the scene and showed police focusing the investigation on a car.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

According to police, it began when they tried to stop a driver who was driving erratically near B and Erie streets.

Officers reportedly tried to initiate a traffic stop on Lee Street, but authorities say he fled, eventually going the wrong way down Willard Street.

Police say the man driving the car then exited his vehicle with a knife and lunged at the officers.

One of the officers discharged his weapon, shooting the suspect multiple times.

The suspect was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who fired his weapon has been placed on administrative leave.

“The officers gave multiple commands for him to drop the weapon. The male did not, he actually lunged at the officers. One of the officers then discharged his weapon multiple times, striking the male,” said Jasmine Reilly with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Family members identified the man as 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry.

“He’s schizophrenic at that. That’s all in the paperwork. He was reaching for his wallet when the officer shot him. Not once or twice, but five or six times,” said Zoraida Garcia, the man’s aunt.

No officers were injured in the incident.

Action News asked Garcia about the knife police said Irizarry had in his possession. She said it was common for him to have one.

“He always did carry little pocket knife, but it’s not nothing big,” said Garcia.

She also said he didn’t understand English very well.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal