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Police change information about fatal shooting after viewing body camera footage: officials

Philadelphia Police release new information about fatal Kensington shooting
Philadelphia Police release new information about fatal Kensington shooting 03:10

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia Police gave a correction on Wednesday to a deadly police shooting that happened earlier this week. Officers are now saying the man who was killed never lunged at police from outside his vehicle.

Police said the information officers initially put out contradicts police body camera video, and investigators are working to figure out where that preliminary info came from. 

RELATED: Family of man killed by Philadelphia police officer demands justice

In a news conference at police headquarters, top brass, including Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Chief of Detectives Christine Coulter, sought to explain new information that was given out on the Monday, Aug. 14 shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry in Kensington.

"I understand and want to acknowledge the hurt and confusion that family and community members can experience when details of investigations change," Outlaw said.

Irizarry was in a Toyota Corolla and at one point going the wrong way down a Kensington street, driving recklessly when officers pulled him over, police said. While at first, they claimed Irizarry was outside the vehicle during the shooting, police now say he was inside the vehicle when he was shot.

Coulter said the officers' bodyworn cameras showed Irizarry was still inside the car. 

Investigators are still trying to interview witnesses and the officer who fired the shots has not yet been interviewed. The officer has 72 hours to consult with counsel and to be interviewed, according to Coulter said.

"We have several people who were interviewed," Coulter said. "But the changing of the information that was originally reported came solely from the bodyworn cameras when it was evident that the decedent was sitting in the car at the time of the shooting."

Outlaw now says one officer approached the driver's side door as the other officer tried to open the passenger side door. That officer then noticed a knife and alerted the officer on the driver's side. Police say in response, the officer on the driver's side door fired his gun multiple time, killing the driver.

"At this time, the evidence clearly indicates the male was not outside of the vehicle and was seated inside of the vehicle at the time of the discharge," Outlaw said.

Reiterating an update from Tuesday night, Outlaw said the department's information that Irizarry was outside the vehicle was "preliminary."

"At the time we gave that information, that was the best information that we had available," Outlaw said in the news conference. "We always strive to clarify and update that information as quickly and accurately as possible. That's what we're doing here today."

CBS News Philadelphia.

Both officers' body worn cameras were activated and captured the incident. Those police body cameras were crucial to the new information, according to Coulter.

"It was evident that the decedent was sitting in the car at the time of the shooting," Coulter said.

Police say Irizarry had a weapon and that officers saw two knives inside the vehicle. Then one of the officers fired multiple shots.

Investigators are still trying to learn where the initial information about Irizarry being outside the vehicle came from.

"I don't believe we've established the origin of that," Coulter said. "It was something that was called into police radio, we don't know where that came from at this time."

What we do know is that information came from someone in law enforcement internally, according to Outlaw.

"The original origin of where that came from internally, we're backtracking to find out how that happened. I don't have that answer for you today," Outlaw said. "But we had a reason to believe on good authority that that's what occurred."

The Toyota has been towed to a police garage and officers will get a search warrant.

The shooting is under investigation by the police department's Internal Affairs Bureau and Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit.

"The PPD will work closely with the District Attorney's Office to ensure an additional layer of transparency remains present," Outlaw said in a statement Tuesday night.

The officer who fired his gun has not been named. He was identified as a five-year veteran of the department.

Attorney Fortunato Perri who represents both officers wrote in a statement, "The officers involved have the full support of the Fraternal Order of Police as we continue to review the facts and circumstances surrounding this tragic incident."

The Citizens Police Oversight Commission released a statement Wednesday about the shooting.

Please read CPOC's statement on the recent Officer Involved Shooting on 8/14/23. The statement can also be found on our...

Posted by Philadelphia Citizens Police Oversight Commission on Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Watch the Philadelphia Police update on the fatal shooting:

Philadelphia Police provide update after officer fatally shoots Eddie Irizarry in Kensington 15:57
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