On Tuesday morning, PA Governor Tom Wolf spoke on the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr. and subequent unrest in Philadelphia.
Rioting and looting broke out in various locations throughout the city on Monday night, particularly in West Philadelphia. An explosive device was set off at a Rite Aid and multiple businesses were looted. The most intense rioting on Monday night occurred around 52nd Street and Locust Street. 30 police officers were injured during Monday night’s unrest while 12 required hospitalization. At one point, a pickup truck could be seen slamming into police lines.
Governor Wolf issued his condolences to the family of Walter Wallace. “Anytime that happens it’s a tragedy, for whatever reason,” Wolf said to reporters. He then assured to “follow up and find out what happened” in regards to the Wallace shooting.
It should be noted that Wallace Jr. was armed with a knife and repeatedly disobeyed police commands while continuing to advance. He was awaiting trial for allegedly threatening to shoot a woman. In 2017, he pled guilty to robbery, assault, and possessing an instrument of crime after kicking down the door of another woman and putting a gun to her head. He was sentenced to 11-23 months in prison.
Wolf then referred to Monday night’s unrest as “peaceful protests” despite looting, arson and multiple officers injured.
“The hope is that this doesn’t escalate into anything more than the peaceful protests that makes this kind of brings out.”
Looting again erupted just hours following the comments from Governor Wolf. This time, looters largely targeted strip stores in Port Richmond. They appeared to be taking advantage of massive police resources being diverted to West Philadelphia, leaving the affected areas undermanned.
Police described the situation in affected areas as “a total loss”, particularly around Aramingo and Castor. Two people were shot in this area around 8:45 PM. One of the victims was a 15 year-old girl who is reportedly in stable condition.