Police yesterday clarified that a man shot to death by an officer in South Philadelphia last week was Justin Jamal Kennedy, 22, of Point Breeze.
Kennedy, of 20th Street near Wilder, had reached for a gun in his waistband and ignored the officer's commands to stop, police have said.
Investigators at the scene found the man's weapon to be a replica pellet gun, police said.
The day after the shooting, police identified the slain man as Justin Kennedy, 19.
The problem is that there is a Justin Kennedy, 19, who lives in the South Philadelphia area and who has a criminal history in the city, about which at least one news outlet reported last week.
Meanwhile, the Justin Kennedy who was killed did not have a Philadelphia criminal history. However, he previously has been arrested on gun-related charges in Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia police said yesterday.
Asked if police had identified the wrong man as being killed, Lt. Frank Vanore, police spokesman, said yesterday: "I don't believe we had the wrong individual in our minds," but rather that police "got the wrong age."
Vanore and Sgt. Tim Cooney of the homicide unit both said yesterday that fingerprint evidence has shown that the man killed was Justin Jamal Kennedy, 22.
It was about 11:20 p.m. last Wednesday when Kennedy emerged from Lid's Cafe Society, a bar at 23rd and Tasker streets, South Philly, while arguing with another man, police have said.
As the two men argued while walking north on 23rd Street, a police officer got out of his vehicle and walked toward them. Kennedy then "made a verbal threat" and the officer "made several warnings," heard by witnesses, for Kennedy to calm down, Vanore said yesterday.
Kennedy "pulled what appeared to be a gun" and the officer shot once, Vanore said.
Kennedy, shot in the chest, died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 20 minutes later.
Kennedy was arrested in Exeter Township, Luzerne County in 2005, authorities said. He was caught with two stolen firearms - a Ruger .357-caliber and a .45-caliber gun - Jeff Tokach, Luzerne County first assistant district attorney, said yesterday. Both guns had been stolen from a house.
Kennedy pleaded guilty in 2006 to a charge of receiving stolen property and a second charge of firearms not to be carried without a license. He was sentenced to 18 months' probation.
Philadelphia police have declined to identify the officer who shot and killed Kennedy. That officer has been placed on desk duty pending outcome of investigations by the homicide and internal-affairs units. *