A Frankford man was shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer early Monday, police said, during a traffic stop and struggle in which the man allegedly tried to get to a handgun in his vehicle.

Several witnesses were being interviewed at the department's homicide unit Monday morning after the 2:45 a.m. traffic stop in Mayfair that led to the alleged struggle.

The dead man has been identified has Brandon Tate-Brown, of the 5200 block of Horrocks Street.

Two uniformed 15th District officers stopped Tate-Brown, 26, on the 6700 block of Frankford Avenue because he was driving without headlights on, police said, citing preliminary information.

When the officers approached the car, a Dodge Charger with Florida plates, they saw a handgun on the center console of the car, police said.

The officers asked Tate-Brown to get out of the car, and when he did so, the struggle began, police said.

He was able to break free from the officers and forced his way to the passenger side of the vehicle and tried to retrieve the gun, police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said.

That's when one of the officers fired his own gun, hitting Tate-Brown once in the head, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:05 a.m.

Police said the gun in the car, a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol with eight live rounds, had been reported stolen in July 2013.

Court records show Tate-Brown has been arrested twice. In May 2007, at the age of 19, he was arrested on charges of receiving property and car theft. Those charges, according to records, were later dropped by prosecutors.

A month later, in June of 2007, he was arrested on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and carrying a firearm without a license.

After pleading guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault, he was sentenced to five years in prison.

The officer who fired the gun has been placed on administrative duty, police said. Stanford said he has served on the force for about a year and a half.

Police said the officer's partner was taken to a hospital for observation. Internal Affairs and the Homicide Unit are investigating and will forward their findings to the District Attorney's Office.

The shooting is the fourth fatal police-involved shooting this year, of 26 total police-involved shootings. By this time last year, according to department records, officers had been involved in 42 shootings, 13 of them fatal.

Mike Newall and Aubrey Whelan are Inquirer staff writers.

Emily Babay is a Philly.com staff writer.

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Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillydotcom on Twitter.