Philadelphia police on Thursday identified the man they fatally shot in West Philadelphia after a violent frenzy that left three children, including the suspect’s son and daughter, and two women injured.
Christopher Sowell, 32, from the 6200 block of Hazel Street, was shot by police officers who were tracking a man who stabbed two children and choked another, the police department said. Sowellwas later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police responded to a report of “person screaming, report of someone shot” just before 7 p.m. Wednesday on the 6200 block of Hazel Avenue.
A 12-year-old girl told officers that her father choked her and stabbed his 8-year-old son and another 13-year-old boy before running away, police said.
“All of a sudden his eyes were wide as could be. And then he just starts to choke her for no reason whatsoever,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told NBC10.
The boys had multiple stab wounds and the 8-year-old boy had wounds to his neck and chest. They are at Children’s Hospital and listed in critical condition.
“He just was a bubbly little kid, and I’m just praying that he pulls through,” a neighbor said of Sowell’s sonon Thursday, NBC10 reported.
After assaulting the children, Sowell walked four blocks to a home on Cobbs Creek Parkway and Webster Avenue and asked his elderly neighbor for food, police said. Once in the home, Sowell allegedly cut a 70-year-old woman’s throat with a steak knife he took from her kitchen and punched a 41-year-old mentally disabled woman multiple times in the face.
The older woman is in the hospital and listed as critical.
The police found the two women after the confrontation with Sowell as he left the home on the 700 block ofCobbs Creek Parkway.
“That male comes out. He is confronted by police. He’s got his hand in his pocket,” Ross said,according to 6ABC. “They tell him several times to take his hand out. He abruptly takes his hand out and they fire multiple times, striking him.”
No weapon has been recovered, according to authorities, but a cellphone was found in the area where Sowell fell.
A switchblade was found in Sowell’s home on Hazel Avenue and a steak knife with a broken handle was found in the kitchen of the Cobbs Creek Parkway residence four blocks away.
The officers involved in the shooting are on administrative duty pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation, police said.