Police identify officer who critically shot West Philly man

Kristen Johanson
March 11, 2019 - 12:50 pm
Members of Philadelphia's Ethiopian and Eritrean communities are asking questions after one of their own was shot by police on Wednesday night.

Courtesy of Saba Tedla

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A man shot by Philadelphia police last week is facing assault and weapons charges — and authorities have now identified the officer who fired. 

Philadelphia police say they were called to 49th Street and Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia last Wednesday, when they saw 25-year-old Kaleb Belay holding a knife in his left hand come out from behind a bush.

Police investigators say Officer Kevin Pfeifer and his partner drew their guns and told Belay to drop the knife several times, but they say Belay didn't comply — and that's when Pfeifer fired, striking Belay in the torso several times.  

READ: Philly's Ethiopian community asking questions after they say one of their own shot by police

Belay was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and remains in critical condition.

Authorities say a five-inch steak knife was found at the scene.

Prosecutors have charged Belay with aggravated and simple assault as well as possession of an instrument of a crime.

A spokesman for the office says they are still investigating the shooting. 

Pfeifer, a your-year veteran, remains on desk duty pending the outcome of internal affairs investigation.