Several hundred Pennsylvania National Guard members were mobilized to Philadelphia Tuesday in response to riots following the fatal police-involved shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. Ninety-one people were arrested and 30 officers were injured during the violent unrest.
Lt. Col. Keith Hickox said in a statement:
At the direction of Governor Wolf, and PEMA, the Pennsylvania National Guard is mobilizing several hundred members in support of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management and assist local agencies in protecting life, property and the right to peacefully assemble and protest. Assisting civil authorities during times of need is one of our core missions in the National Guard and our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and well-prepared to assist our commonwealth and our communities in any way we can. We are able to conduct operations in support of civil authorities to enhance local law enforcement’s ability to provide continued public safety and critical infrastructure security.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the department will bolster its presence in the city as well.
“For today and this evening, we anticipate the chance of additional incidents of civil unrest and, as such, we will be taking additional steps to ensure order,” Outlaw told reporters during a press conference.
The video showed two Philadelphia police officers pointing guns and moving away from Wallace as he walks toward them with a knife in hand. Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said Wallace was “brandishing” the knife and “waving it erratically.”
Police shot Wallace, causing him to drop the knife.
“Upon being struck, the male immediately dropped the knife and was scooped up by one of the discharging officers who took him into his police car, drove him over to Presbyterian Hospital where, unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries,” Gripp said.
Police were originally called to the residence in West Philadelphia for a report of a man with a weapon.
The UPI contributed to this report.