An unarmed pizza delivery was shot by two Philadelphia police officers who profiled him as a shooting suspect, reports NBC Philadelphia.
Philippe Holland, 20, was delivering pizza for Slices and More Pizzeria and Grill when shots rang out in the neighborhood around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 22.
Holland, who is Black and was wearing hoodie, was returning to his vehicle when two plain-clothes policemen approached him.
“They responded to gunshots. They’re surveying the area and they see this male walking with a hoodie,” said Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “He’s got his hands in his pocket and at that time, they order him to stop, and identify themselves.”
Police officers speculated that Holland may have thought he was being robbed because he continued to his car and began to back up.
The officers, allegedly fearful that he would run them over, opened fire, striking Holland in the leg, neck and head.
According to NBC Philadelphia, an investigation has been launched by the Internal Affairs division of the Philadelphia Police Department and the officers, who cover the 12th district, have been removed from street duty.
“Unfortunately, it just appears like it’s a set of circumstances that no one could have predicted and we’re just hopeful that this male survives,” Ross said.
Read more from the NY Daily News:
Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey told the Inquirer he visited the gravely wounded young man in the hospital Wednesday.
The round that hit him in the head damaged his eyesight, though it was unclear if the injury would be permanent, the newspaper reported.
Ramsey told the newspaper the officers who shot him “feel terrible.”
“It’s just unfortunate all around and we’re just praying that this young man is able to fully recover.”
“This is a young man who has two jobs” and a good family, Ramsey told the newspaper.
In addition delivering food for Upper Darby pizza parlor Slices and More, Ramsey worked as a baggage handler for Philadelphia International Airport, CBS Philly reported.
His boss at the pizza shop called him a model employee, a “nice, clean young guy.”
“He came into work early, never said no to anything,” Tony Spirokostas told the station.