Surveillance footage shows moment police shot and killed ALEXANDER SPENCER, 28, in Philadelphia

Thursday, February 1, 2024
 – New surveillance video was released on Tuesday, Jan. 30, from last week's deadly police-involved shooting that injured an officer and left a man dead in North Philadelphia.

The shooting happened on Friday night, January 26, inside Jennifer Tavern on the corner of N. Mascher and W. Cambria streets.

28-year-old Alexander Spencer was shot and killed during a scuffle with police. During that scuffle, officials say Spencer fired a shot, hitting one of the officers in the leg.

The injured officer's partner then returned fire, according to police.

The officer who fired the shot has been identified as 33-year-old Ofc. Raheem Hall of the 24th Police District. He is a 6-year veteran of the force.

The Philadelphia police department promised full "transparency" about the Friday night encounter and released several minutes of security video as concerns grew about the police use of force in the fatal shooting of Spencer. In the video, two officers were wrestling with Spencer on the floor as two shots rang out in five seconds.

At a morning news conference, new Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said: "The officers’ guns are holstered, and only after being shot do they take their weapon out."

The officers, whose names have not yet been released, were on routine patrol in the area while also keeping an eye out for a person wanted in a recent non-fatal shooting, Bethel said. He described the immediate area, in the city’s Fairhill neighbourhood, as particularly dangerous, with five homicides and 17 nonfatal shootings in the past three years.

Bethel said his staff had also met with the family.

The released video shows two uniformed officers stopping in the narrow store as several men walk near a row of video gambling machines.

One of the officers walks into the store, asking if anyone has a gun and checking waistbands.

The officer then gets to Spencer and signals to his partner that he is armed.

The officers appear to confront Spencer about whether he has a gun, and the three begin wrestling.

"He alerts his partner that there’s a gun. And the struggle is on," said Deputy Commissioner Frank Vanore.

In the video, the two officers and Spencer are seen in a short scuffle on the ground before you hear a shot and see blood coming from the leg of an officer. Police believe Spencer fired that initial shot.

Officials also point out that at the time of the initial gunshot, both officers' guns are holstered.

Seconds later, Hall fires at Spencer, killing him, before radioing for backup.

The injured officer, who was crouching, suffered four wounds when he was shot by a single bullet, Vanore said. He may have tried to fire back, but could not, he said.

"I think he tried, but it did not operate. The other officer did and that was the shot that struck Mr. Spencer," Vanore said.

The suspect’s gun appeared to kick out during the scuffle and was later grabbed by a man seen on video recording the scene with a cellphone.

Police have a warrant out for his arrest, and have identified him as Jose Quinones-Mendez, 42.

He is being sought on charges that include obstruction of justice and evidence tampering. The two officers apparently did not notice that Spencer’s gun had slid away and that Quinones-Mendez had stolen it after the shooting.

Quinones-Mendez is considered armed and dangerous. The Philadelphia FOP Lodge #5 is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to his arrest.

The injured officer was released Monday, Jan. 29, from a hospital, the department said. He has been on the force for nine years.

Meanwhile, the mother of the man who died, 28-year-old Alexander Spencer, says she viewed the video Monday with police and officials from the district attorney's office.

Now, she is asking for answers.

"They're supposed to be protecting the neighborhood and they have to protect themselves. But sometimes things don't go right and that did not look right," noted Spencer's mother, Yvette Spencer after watching the video.

“When did stop and frisk come into play?” Yvette asked.

While officials did release surveillance video from inside the store, Bethel said the officers did not activate their body cameras, which were knocked off their clothing during the struggle.

A social media video circulating online is now part of the investigation.

In the video, Spencer can be seen on the ground with officers on top of him moments before two gunshots are heard. The wounded officer's partner can then be seen calling for help over the radio.

Watch the video below. 

Post a Comment