Teen shot, critically wounded, during struggle with police

A police car drives with its lights flashing in Philadelphia.

A police car drives with its lights flashing in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

A teenager was shot and critically wounded by a police officer following a struggle in north Philadelphia, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a woman having been robbed in the area shortly after 8:30 p.m. Friday, Inspector Sekou Kinebrew said.

Officers found a 17-year-old youth nearby who matched the description of the suspect, Kinebrew said. Officers patting him down found a weapon in his waistband, and they say he reached for it, a brief struggle ensued, and one officer fired his weapon, Kinebrew said.

The officer, who has been on the force for six years, is believed to have fired three times, hitting the teenager twice in the leg and once in the lower back, Kinebrew said. A revolver was recovered from the teenager, he said.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

The suspect, who is not believed to have been responsible for the reported robbery, was taken to Temple University Hospital and listed in critical but stable condition, Kinebrew said.

Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, was at the scene of the police shooting as officers investigated.

The shooting came on a night marred by other violence across Philadelphia, which last year saw 355 homicides, the highest total in more than a decade.

Shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday, gunfire outside an Olney after-hours club in north Philadelphia sent three people to the hospital, including a 26-year-old woman in critical condition. A stabbing shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday in the Kensington neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia critically injured a man in his 30s. Just before 11:30 p.m. Friday, gunfire sent two more people to hospitals.

Earlier Friday, gunfire critically injured man in his late 20s in the north Philadelphia’s Hunting Park. Shootings just north of the city center and in Bustleton in northeast Philadelphia sent two other people to hospitals. A stabbing Friday evening in southwest Philadelphia sent two women to a hospital, one with serious injuries.

Outlaw took over the nation’s fourth-largest city police force less than a week ago amid the homicide surge and calls to address ongoing allegations of racism and gender discrimination. Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. abruptly resigned last summer after a lawsuit alleged that he ignored sexual harassment complaints due to a former affair with one of the complaining officers. Ross denied any retaliation.

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