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Police-Involved Shooting Leaves Suspect Dead, Officer Wounded

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Philadelphia Officer Steve Korpalski Philadelphia Officer Steve Korpalski
David Ellis David Ellis
PHILADELPHIA -

Philadelphia police say an officer was wounded and a suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire overnight in the city's Tacony section.

The shooting was reported at approximately 12:48 a.m. Tuesday on the 6400 block of Ditman Street.

The suspect was shot multiple times, police said, and taken to a hospital but later pronounced dead. At least three officers fired their weapons.

Officer Steve Korpalski, a 14-year-veteran, grazed in the left side of his head by a bullet.

Commissioner Charles Ramsey called him "very fortunate," adding that "a half-inch over and we'd be planning a funeral now."

It was the closest of close calls for officer Korpalski when he exited his patrol wagon and was confronted by 29-year-old convicted criminal David Ellis with a gun.

“As Korpalski got out of the car. The guy turned around and fired a shot. He immediately yelled out he was hit,” said Commissioner Ramsey.

Officer Korpalski was hit once in the head by gunfire, officers returned fire killing Ellis, who had fired all six of the bullets in his .32 caliber revolver. Korpalski was raced to Einstein Medical Center and released around 5 a.m. Tuesday moring.

“It's just a blessing for all of us that he came out of this okay, but it also highlights the dangers officers face out on the street,” said Ramsey.

Police say Ellis was hit by more than a dozen shots. He has a long history of arrests, for robbery, drugs, sexual assault and weapons offenses. He was out on parole.

“He was a guy who actually was quite a danger out in the community,” said Ramsey.

Ellis was sentenced to 4 to 10 years in April 2009 from a conspiracy, drug and gun arrest in 2007. He was turned down for parole twice, and then released less than a year ago after serving about 6 years.

“Individuals who are sentenced should stay in prison; they shouldn't be back out on the street of Philadelphia to hurt either our members or the general public,” said VP for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 John McGrody.

Officer Korpalski is resting at home with his wife and 3-week-old daughter. His father is a retired police officer.


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