CBSN

Police shoot, kill man they say was about to run them over

Shot-out windows of car are seen in suburban Philadelphia on December 30, 2014 after driver was killed by police gunfire

CBS Philly

UPPER DARBY, Pa. -- Police shot and killed a man who had posted an online video threatening to kill police and FBI agents after he tried to use his car to run down officers trying to arrest him in a Philadelphia suburb.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said officers feared the man would kill them Tuesday and they "did what they had to do." He said five officers fired at the man. No officers were injured.

Authorities did not immediately identify the man who was killed, as officers ordered him out of the car and he appeared ready to accelerate at them as they manned a blockade. CBS Philly says he was 52-year-old Joseph A. Pacini. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports he'd posted three online videos with rambling messages and threats.

CBS Philly says he'd posted his last one about an hour before he was shot dead.

The station showed the video, in which he says, "This is my coming out party. OK? So, if you want to try to bring me down I will [expletive] kill you and your whole [expletive] family, all right? So go ahead and [expletive] with me."

Police had secured an arrest warrant for the man after the threats in the online video, Chitwood said.

He had a history of mental illness, says CBS Philly, citing police.

The man's death comes a little more than a week after a man who made similar threats shot two New York Police Department officers dead in their patrol car and then killed himself in a subway station.

Police said they began following the man after he left a home in nearby Clifton Heights. They said when officers stopped him at an intersection and ordered him out of the car, he reversed and slammed into a police vehicle and then prepared to run over other officers.

Officers opened fire, killing the man, Chitwood said. The man did not fire at police, and Chitwood said he did not know if the man had a weapon.

In the New York case, Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed on a Brooklyn street as they sat in their marked car on Dec. 20. Their attacker, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had referenced in online posts the high-profile killings by white police officers of unarmed black men, specifically Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner on Staten Island. Soon after the officers' shooting Brinsley, who was black, killed himself.

Decisions by grand juries not to indict the officers involved in the killings of Brown and Garner have sparked protests around the nation, with demonstrators lying down in the streets as though they're dead. Many protesters have chanted "Hands up! Don't shoot!" a reference to their contention Brown's hands were raised when he was shot dead by police, and "I can't breathe," which Garner was heard saying on a video recording of his encounter with a policeman who put his arm around his neck.

On Sunday, two men opened fire on a police car patrolling a tough part of Los Angeles, but the two officers inside were not injured and one was able to shoot back, authorities said. One suspect was later arrested, and the other was on the loose. Police haven't determined a motive for the shooting in South Los Angeles, an area plagued by gang violence, but said there were no indications it was linked to other attacks on police.