A Philadelphia police officer faces murder charges following the fatal shooting of 27-year-old motorist Eddie Irizarry, who was seated in his vehicle last month while holding a knife, according to prosecutors. Body camera footage contradicted initial police statements that claimed Irizarry had lunged at officers from outside his vehicle. Instead, the video clearly showed Irizarry seated in the driver’s seat when the officer, Mark Dial, 27, fired multiple shots at him. Dial surrendered to authorities after being charged with murder.
Irizarry had parked his Toyota Corolla in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood after being stopped by police for a traffic violation. Dial and his partner pulled up next to Irizarry’s car in a police vehicle. The body camera footage captured Dial shouting at Irizarry to show his hands and threatening to shoot him, followed by multiple gunshots just seconds later. After the shooting, the officers placed the unresponsive Irizarry in their police vehicle and transported him to the hospital.
Irizarry’s family had viewed the video and expressed their wish for it to be made public. He had moved to Philadelphia from Puerto Rico seven years ago and worked as a mechanic while reportedly receiving treatment for schizophrenia. The family intends to file wrongful death lawsuits against both the city of Philadelphia and Officer Dial.
Officer Dial, who has served on the force for five years, was initially suspended for 30 days for insubordination related to the incident. He refused to cooperate with the shooting investigation, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.
The shooting has sparked outrage in the Philadelphia community, leading to protests. Mayor Jim Kenney called for peaceful demonstrations and accountability, while the police union urged the public to withhold judgment until the evidence is presented during the trial. Dial was arraigned and released on bail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for September 26.