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Philly police identify 2 officers in fatal shooting of man who allegedly attacked police with hammer, pickaxe

Officers Julian Jones and Cindy Williams-Dorin both fired guns in the fatal shooting of Koffi Dzima, 31.

Crime scene investigators work on 5700 block of Overbrook Avenue on Tuesday.
Crime scene investigators work on 5700 block of Overbrook Avenue on Tuesday.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

Philadelphia police on Friday identified the two officers who were involved in a confrontation Tuesday afternoon with a 31-year-old man, allegedly armed with a hammer and pickaxe, that left the man fatally wounded by police gunfire and one of the officers shot in the leg.

The two uniformed officers, Julian Jones, 35, and Cindy Williams-Dorin, 43, responded to the 5700 block of Overbrook Avenue for a reported disturbance. On Tuesday evening, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, “The call was about someone in the basement with weapons. By the time the officers arrived, the person was already coming up from the basement with the pickaxe and the hammer.”

The man, Koffi Dzima, allegedly attacked Jones and struck him in the head with the hammer. Jones fell and Dzima allegedly stood over him while still holding the hammer and pickaxe when both officers fired their guns, fatally wounding Dzima.

Jones suffered a gunshot wound to his right knee. He was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. Police on Friday said he was still being treated at the hospital. Williams-Dorin was not injured.

Police have not alleged that Dzima had a gun at any point during the confrontation and no other gun was reported to have been recovered at the scene.

When asked Tuesday if Jones had been struck by a police bullet, Outlaw responded: “All we know is the officer was struck during the confrontation. Obviously as we speak to witnesses who are being interviewed right now, as we review body-worn camera footage, as the night goes on we’ll be able to tell.”

Late Friday afternoon, the Police Department was unable to say whether Jones shot himself, or was shot by Williams-Dorin, or if there was another explanation.

“The forensics haven’t come back yet. So, at this time, we can’t confirm,” spokesperson Officer Tanya Little said.

Jones and Williams-Dorin both have been on the force for three years and are assigned to the 19th District. They have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.

The incident was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras. The department has declined to release the footage, citing the ongoing investigation.

City records show that Williams-Dorin previously worked as a correctional officer for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.

On Wednesday, the owner of the home to which officers were called said he didn’t want to speak with a reporter.

During the confrontation, which occurred shortly after 3 p.m., Jones ordered Dzima to drop the weapons, police said, but he didn’t. Jones then fired his Taser at Dzima, knocking him to the ground. But Dzima got back up and came out of the house, police said, moving toward the two officers and several other people in a driveway. That’s when Dzima allegedly struck Jones, and the officers fired their guns.

Dzima was taken by police to Lankenau Medical Center and pronounced dead at 3:29 p.m.

The city said Tuesday that it would equip its patrol officers with Tasers, a step announced on the one-year anniversary of the death of Walter Wallace Jr., a mentally distressed Black man police shot and killed outside his West Philadelphia home.

In an agreement announced in coordination with Wallace’s family, the city said it would spend $14 million to purchase the electroshock weapons, train officers on their use, and require them to wear them on the job.

Dzima was the fourth person killed by police gunfire in 2021, according to department statistics. Three others have been wounded in shootings by police.