CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — The mayor of a Philadelphia-area city is vowing transparency and urging community patience in an investigation into an exchange of gunfire that killed one suspect and critically injured a second while also wounding a police captain.
Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland also praised police for exercising restraint in dealing with crowd hostility after the incident and urged young people Sunday to make "good choices."
Police chief James Nolan said officers tried to stop a vehicle at about 4 p.m. Saturday, but someone in the car started shooting and police returned fire, killing one suspect and wounding another. A third person was arrested. Names and other details about the three suspects weren't immediately released.
Captain Alan Davis, who has been on the force for at least 25 years, was taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center in critical condition but was listed in good condition Sunday.
Kirkland vowed that during the investigation the community would see that "we are being transparent, we are being honest, we are being clear" and officials wanted to see "a truthful outcome."
"We're asking the Chester community once again to practice restraint, practice patience and understanding," he said, also chiding those who would "rile up a crowd of persons who are already hurting."
Kirkland said police exercised restraint in what he called "a hostile situation" in which bottles and bricks were hurled at police. Police used pepper spray at one point during the disorder in the city about 18 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
"The police department is not the enemy," police commissioner Darren Alston said, who said several people were struck by the objects, including a deputy commissioner. "These officers do not come to work every day looking to get into a shootout."
He and Kirkland blamed the violence in the city on an influx of guns into the city. The mayor said it was "frightening" to see videos and social media posts displaying high-tech weaponry in the hands of young people.
"Our young people don't go to the corner store to purchase these weapons. They don't go to Kmart or Walmart to purchase these weapons. Somebody is selling these young people these weapons," Kirkland said.
On Feb. 8, six suburban police officers shot and killed a driver following a chase that began in Upland and ended in Chester. The Delaware County district attorney said the shooting appeared justified, saying Shalamar Longer, 33, of Chester, had pointed a revolver at the officers and earlier told his cousin, a passenger in the sport utility vehicle, that he was "not going back to jail."