Philly police identify the man fatally shot by officers in Overbrook
The Police Department said the fatal encounter with Koffi Dzima was captured on officers’ body-worn cameras. But it declined to release the footage, citing an ongoing investigation.
Philadelphia police on Wednesday identified the 31-year-old man who was fatally shot by two officers in Overbrook on Tuesday, and said the officers opened fire after the man struck one of them in the head with a hammer.
In a statement, the Police Department added that the fatal encounter with Koffi Dzima — during which an officer was also shot in the leg — was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras. But it declined to release the footage, citing an ongoing investigation into the incident.
In the statement, police said two officers — whom they did not identify — were called to the 5700 block of Overbrook Avenue just after 3 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a disturbance. One of the officers saw Dzima inside a house “armed with a handheld pickaxe and a hammer,” police said. The officer told Dzima to drop the weapons, police said, but he didn’t. The officer then fired his Taser at Dzima, knocking him to the ground.
But Dzima quickly got back up and came out of the house, police said, moving toward the two responding officers and several other people in a driveway. Dzima hit one of the officers in the head with a hammer, police said, then stood over him. At that point, police said, both officers fired their guns at Dzima.
Dzima was taken to Lankenau Hospital and pronounced dead at 3:29 p.m., police said.
The officer struck with the hammer was also shot once in the right knee. Police said it was not clear whether he was struck by his shots or his partner’s.
Neighbors on Wednesday declined to talk about what happened, and the only remaining signs of the incident were chalk circles on the pavement, a bullet hole in a nearby garage, and a strand of police tape wrapped around the tree of a neighboring house.
The owner of the home where officers were called said he didn’t want to speak with a reporter.
Commissioner Danielle Outlaw briefly addressed the matter during an unrelated press conference Wednesday, calling the decision to fire a gun “one of the most difficult decisions any of us [officers] may be faced with” and saying: “This shooting has touched many. The trauma ... may be lifelong for some.”
Dzima is the fourth person to be killed by police gunfire in 2021, according to department statistics. Three others have been wounded in shootings by police.