Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

The rifle-toting man who was fatally shot by Philly police had shot at and threatened others, cops say

The details offered by police at an afternoon news conference provided a clearer picture of what unfolded during the incident that left Stanley Cochran fatally shot by police.

In this file photo, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw arrives for a press conference on October 6, 2020.
In this file photo, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw arrives for a press conference on October 6, 2020.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

Philadelphia police on Friday identified the 29-year-old man an officer fatally shot in Germantown early Thursday, and said it occurred after the man entered a church around 3 a.m. carrying an assault rifle, confronted a woman he knew who lived in the rectory there, and said he wanted to kill somebody.

The gunman, Stanley Cochran, then made a series of “bizarre” demands for nearly an hour before leaving the church, police said. What he did next cost two people their lives.

One of them, according to Lt. Jason Hendershot, of the unit that investigates police shootings, was 19-year-old Skylar Owen Mooney, who Hendershot said was fatally shot by Cochran when he tried to steal the car she was driving.

The other was Cochran, who Hendershot said had several confrontations with police officers while trying to run away from the area — refusing to drop his gun, firing at at least one officer, and at one point attempting to steal a police cruiser.

The information offered at an afternoon news conference at Police Headquarters provided more details about what police said unfolded during the incident that left Mooney and Cochran dead.

But the briefing also raised new questions: Homicide Lt. Norman Davenport said Cochran was a suspect in a double slaying committed in West Oak Lane on Monday, but that police had not developed enough evidence to be sure that Cochran was the killer.

Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Thursday’s incident was troubling for officers and residents alike, and she said Mooney was “a very young, innocent woman whose life was just beginning.”

Attempts to reach relatives of Mooney and Cochran this week were unsuccessful. But several friends of Mooney’s posted tributes to her on social media. One friend wrote on Instagram: “The sky gained another beautiful, bright star tonight. How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Hendershot said Thursday’s events started when Cochran entered the rectory at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church carrying a rifle and confronting a woman who lived and worked there. Cochran named a person he wanted to kill and asked the woman to bring that person to him. The woman said she didn’t know who Cochran was talking about, Hendershot said.

Over the next 30 to 60 minutes, according to Hendershot, Cochran made a series of demands, telling the woman to give him food and money, and to drive him to Wawa. She declined.

Cochran ultimately fired a shot, missing the woman. But she dropped her car keys, and he stole her Kia Spectra and drove away, Hendershot said. He crashed near Chelten Avenue.

Cochran then approached a woman driving a black Volvo and told her to get out of the car, Hendershot said, causing her to speed away in reverse for several blocks. She saw police nearby and alerted them about Cochran.

Meanwhile, Hendershot said, Cochran fired shots at an Infiniti sedan being driven by Mooney. She was struck in the head, and later taken to Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, where she was declared dead.

A man who was riding with Mooney was struck in the back, Hendershot said. He was treated and released from Temple University Hospital.

Cochran, according to Hendershot, then encountered several police officers in different parts of Germantown as he attempted to flee. Police said he did not obey commands to put his gun down, and that four officers fired shots at him. Hendershot said Cochran fired at one of the officers and unsuccessfully tried to steal that cop’s patrol car.

After Cochran was shot, he was taken to Einstein, where he was pronounced dead at 4:36 a.m., Hendershot said.

Hendershot said a Mini Draco firearm was recovered at the scene; it was purchased in 2018 in Richmond, Va., but Hendershot said authorities were still investigating how Cochran — who has a criminal record and could not have legally owned the gun — obtained it.

Cochran had several convictions, according to court records, most recently a guilty plea in 2017 to firearms charges. He was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in jail and five years probation, the records say. In February 2020, his probation was continued, according to the records, which do not provide additional details.

Davenport said homicide detectives received a call Thursday from someone who said Cochran was responsible for a double slaying Monday on the 6500 block of Lambert Street, where a 48-year-old woman and 29-year-old man were found fatally shot inside a house.

Davenport said: “At this point we have no physical, forensic, or other evidence linking [Cochran] to the shooting. Our investigators are following up on this lead."