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Philadelphia Police Department detective is on desk duty after he allegedly shot and injured an unarmed man he thought was an armed robber Monday.
The victim, who family members identified as 28-year-old Joel Johnson, was a well known beggar who, according to Philly.com. The news channels reported that residents who live in the Kensington district, where the incident occurred, said Johnson spent almost every day people ask to change.
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According to the Philadelphia police, the 29-year-old plainclothes detective had wrapped up the processing of a crime, and was the ride back to the police station in an unmarked vehicle at around 8:45 pm
The detective was stopped in traffic when he spotted Johnson in the street “with his arms extended forward and his hands together,” according to the Philadelphia Police Department. The detective allegedly thought Johnson was pointing a gun at him while shouting. He thought Johnson was going to rob him, so the detective fired four photos of the inside of his unmarked vehicle, striking Johnson once in the stomach, according to the ministry.
Police said Johnson then fell to the ground and was transported to Temple University Hospital by police in a marked patrol vehicle.
He underwent surgery, according to the police, and was listed in critical, but stable condition. An updated condition was not immediately available, but the Philadelphia police told Fox News, Johnson is expected to survive.
The police said that they did not find a firearm on the scene or on Johnson.
No one else was injured during the incident.
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Residents who live near the scene where Johnson was shot told Philly.com he would often extend his arms and rubs his fingers together when the demand for change.
Surveillance video published by Philly.com article appears to indicate at the time that the detective fired after Johnson approached the front of the detective car. The video shows what looks like a plume of smoke out of the window, followed by Johnson falling to the ground.
Philly.com reported that a witness on the scene said he saw the detective out of the car after the shots were fired, and heard the detective yell, “‘Don’t move! Where is the gun?'”
The witness said that he knows that Johnson from the neighborhood and described him as “innocent.”
Jose Tirado, who identified himself as Johnson’s brother, asked for his prayers in a Facebook post, adding that Johnson has “special needs.”
“A lot of people know him and know that he ask[s] people for change and he has special needs, but to shoot him threw [through] a close[d] windshield, without asking a question is crazy,” Tirado wrote in the post. “I am not the judge of an officer, but an ex-officer for many years, I know what it is to bear arms. For the recording of a[n] unarmed person who has no history of violence, and nothing in his hands at the moment, it is difficult for me to understand why deadly force was used.”
Tirado added that he thanks God that only one bullet hit Johnson.
The detective with the Philadelphia Police Department since October 2011. His name is not disclosed to the public
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The Philadelphia Police told Fox News the detective involved has been placed on desk duty as the investigation continues, which is standard procedure.
The recordings are marked the fifth time this year that a Philadelphia officer shot during the work, according to police data. Last year, the Philadelphia Police Department reported 12 incidents in which the police opened fire while on the job, the lowest number of officer-involved shootings in at least the last ten years.