Police shoot and kill a Black man, identified by family as Walter Wallace Jr., in West Philadelphia

Philadelphia police officers shot and killed a man who was holding a knife on Oct. 26, 2020. Mark Makela/Getty Images

Philadelphia police shot and killed a 27-year-old Black man on Monday afternoon after responding to a call of a man with a knife, firing over a half-dozen times in front of a crowd of eyewitnesses, according to local reports.

Family members identified him to The Philadelphia Inquirer as Walter Wallace Jr., and protests broke out in the city on Monday night.

Video posted on social media shows two police officers telling the man, who was holding a weapon, to “put the knife down.” They opened fire as the man walked toward them in the street.

“Oh my god,” a man on the video can be heard. “They just killed him in front of me.”

“You didn’t have to give him that many shots,” he added as onlookers rushed to the man’s body in the middle of the street.

Police appear to have fired as many as 10 times, according to the video. The Inquirer reported that there were at least 13 evidence markers at the crime scene.

Witnesses told the Inquirer that the man was holding a knife but was never closer than 10 feet to police. A reporter for the newspaper said there were “numerous” shell casings on the ground.

Officer Tanya Little of the Philadelphia Police Department told Insider that two cops responded at 2:43 p.m. to a call about a person with a weapon. Upon arrival, the officers ordered the man to drop his knife. However, the man “continued to advance toward officers,” Little said, who responded by shooting their guns “multiple times, striking the male in the shoulder and chest.”

The man was taken to Presbyterian Medical Centre and pronounced dead at 4:06 p.m.

In a statement, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said his office is investigating “today’s fatal shooting of a civilian by police.”

“In the hours and days following this shooting,” Krasner added, “we ask Philadelphians to come together to uphold people’s freedom to express themselves peacefully and to reject violence of any kind.”

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