A Philadelphia man who was fatally wounded by a police officer in the city’s East Germantown section Wednesday night had been driving a vehicle sought in connection with a homicide earlier this month, police said Thursday.
He was identified by police late Thursday afternoon as Dennis Plowden, 25, of the 1600 block of East Walnut Lane in West Oak Lane.
Police said Plowden was shot after refusing to show his hands to the officer, who found him outside the car after he crashed it. He had hit another officer with the car during a traffic stop and drove away.
It turned out that the man himself was not connected to the homicide, First Deputy Commissioner Myron Patterson told reporters at a news conference at police headquarters.
The drama unfolded about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Patterson said, when plainclothes officers in two unmarked vehicles spotted a 2013 white Hyundai sedan with a Pennsylvania tag, which was connected to a Dec. 21 shooting death in Kensington.
The plainclothes officers, who had police lights, stopped the Hyundai at 16th Street and Nedro Avenue, in Ogontz. As one officer was trying to get out of the passenger side of his vehicle, the driver struck the officer and the unmarked police unit with the Hyundai, then drove off, Patterson said.
Plowden drove west on Nedro before crashing the car into two parked vehicles on the 1900 block, at the corner of Opal Street, police said.
Two plainclothes officers in the undamaged police vehicle pursued the car. Plowden, who had gotten out of the Hyundai, had at least one hand in his jacket pocket while sitting on the sidewalk and refused repeated commands from two plainclothes officers to show his hands, police spokesman Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said.
That’s when one of the plainclothes officers fired one shot, hitting Plowden in the head, police said. He was taken to Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:18 a.m. Thursday.
Patterson said homicide detectives have since determined that the man was not connected to the Dec. 21 homicide on the 1800 block of East Atlantic Street.
No weapon was found on or near Plowden after he was shot or in the Hyundai, police said.
But they said the Hyundai was sought in connection with the homicide, declining to specify why. The homicide remains under investigation. Police said Plowden was not the owner of the Hyundai.
A woman, 27, who was a passenger in the car, was taken by medics to Einstein for treatment of bruises and scrapes from the crash, police said.
The injured police officer was treated and released from Temple University Hospital for injuries to his right arm and hand.
This was the 13th police-involved shooting this year, Kinebrew said. Of those, four people were killed by Philadelphia police, including Plowden. Another man, Leroy Brown, 28, was shot and wounded by a Philadelphia officer March 29, and was later that day shot to death by a New Castle County police officer in Delaware.