Philadelphia police say a man who pulled a BB gun on officers in the Grays Ferry section Friday may have been trying to commit "suicide by cop."

"They do have some interviews that that was the state of mind, that he did that to get the cop to shoot him," Lt. Frank Vanore said yesterday.

An officer fired three times at Michael Diering, 34, and hit him at least once in the abdomen. Diering was in stable condition yesterday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Vanore said.

Diering had 17 arrests on his record and is on parole for a conviction in New York state, Vanore said. Neighbors said Friday that Diering recently had gotten out of a halfway house.

Police said his mother called Friday to report that he had vandalized her car and threatened her with an ice pick and some sort of gun.

Officers found Diering in the 1300 block of South 29th Street around 4:20 p.m. He ran up the steps of a nearby house.

As officers approached, Diering pointed the BB gun, described as a replica Walther PPK, at the officers, Vanore said.

"It was black in color. It looked like a handgun," he said.

Diering ignored commands to drop the gun, Vanore said.

Diering also was carrying an ice pick, which he might have used to puncture the tires on his mother's car, police said.

The officer who shot Diering has been placed on standard desk duty while the investigation continues. The officer has not been identified.