Victim’s family releases video of fatal police shooting

Family members of Eddie Irizarry, including his father, Eddie Sr., and aunt, Zoraida Garcia, attend a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Jack Tomczuk

The family of Eddie “Junito” Irizarry Jr. — the 27-year-old man killed in a police shooting last week in Kensington — shared surveillance video Tuesday showing that Officer Mark Dial opened fire just seconds into a traffic stop.

Shaka Johnson, an attorney for the family, said they decided to publicly release the video after an invitation to view police body-worn camera footage was rescinded.

At the beginning of the 3-minute clip, taken from a residential security camera, Irizarry’s car is seen bumping into a traffic cone as he pulls alongside the curb on Willard Street. Authorities have said officers followed him after noticing erratic driving.

Two officers step out of a police cruiser that stops in the middle of the road. Seven seconds later, Dial fires six shots at Irizarry, according to the video.


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The first several bullets go through the driver’s side window, which Irizarry had just rolled up, and one or two appear to travel through the windshield.

In the brief period of time prior to the shooting, officers can be heard in the footage yelling “show me your hands,” “drop that f—ing knife,” and “I’ll f—ing shoot you.” After the shots, the officers drag Irizarry out of the car and carry him toward their cruiser.

Johnson told reporters that “a crime took place,” but stopped short of calling for Dial to be charged with murder.

“This officer really took someone very special to us, and I just want him to pay for what he did,” Irizarry’s aunt, Zoraida Garcia, said at a news conference Tuesday inside a Center City office. “He committed a crime. He needs to go to jail.”

Eddie Irizarry’s aunt, Zoraida Garcia, speaks Tuesday, Aug. 22, at a news conference.Jack Tomczuk

Dial’s attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. Dial, a 5-year police department veteran assigned to the 24th District, has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an internal PPD probe.

Both officers – Dial and his partner – activated their body cameras, police have said, and Irizarry’s relatives were scheduled to privately review those videos Friday, Aug. 18, according to Johnson.

But, he said, the District Attorney’s Office canceled the meeting, citing an ongoing investigation.

DAO spokesperson Jane Roh said in a statement that her office has been in contact with the family through Johnson and looks “forward to meeting with them and their legal counsel in person, in the near future.”

“We will have more to say about this situation when we can do so consistent with preserving the quality and integrity of our independent investigation,” Roh added.

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration referred questions to the DAO, noting that only prosecutors have the authority to disclose the footage to the public.

Johnson said he expects a phone call this Friday with an update about when the family can have access to the tapes.

Police detectives said that two knives were found inside Irizarry’s car – a serrated folding knife and a kitchen knife. Johnson said the folding, or pocket, knife was a gift from Irizarry’s father to aid in his work as a mechanic.

It remains unclear where in the vehicle those knives were recovered and whether Irizarry was holding a weapon when he was shot.

Dial and his partner, who authorities have not identified, spotted Irizarry allegedly driving erratically at around 12:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, near B and Westmoreland streets, police said. They put a call out over police radio asking if a Toyota Corolla had been involved in any priority incidents, according to the PPD.

The pair tailed Irizarry until he pulled onto the 100 block of E. Willard Street, where the shooting occurred.

Attorney Shaka Johnson, who is representing Eddie Irizarry’s family, speaks Tuesday, Aug. 22, at a news conference.Jack Tomczuk

A PPD public information officer reportedly told media crews at the scene that Irizarry had gotten out of his car and “lunged” at police with a knife. Authorities revised that narrative late Tuesday, Aug. 15, after an Instagram clip showed officers carrying Irizarry out of a car.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw held a news conference the next morning, where she acknowledged “the hurt and confusion that family and community members can experience when details of investigations change.”

Johnson said he and Irizarry’s family believe the initial story was an “intentional misleading of the public” and asked police and the DAO to investigate how that information spread.

Outlaw, at the Aug. 16 briefing, said police were backtracking to figure out where the incorrect narrative originated.

A PPD spokesperson said Tuesday that more information will be released once the internal investigation has concluded.

Prior to the shooting, Irizarry had never had a negative interaction with police, let alone been arrested, Johnson said. Irizarry moved to Philadelphia seven years ago from Puerto Rico and did not speak English, the attorney added.

He did deal with schizophrenia, a disorder that has affected others in his family, including his mother, who is being treated at a Puerto Rico mental hospital, according to Johnson.

“My nephew, he was a great person,” Garcia said. “I just want it to be remembered that he was a good kid and never was in any trouble and loved his family.”

Johnson indicated that he plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Dial, the City of Philadelphia and possibly other defendants.

Funeral services for Irizarry are planned for Thursday.