Ex-Philadelphia police officer surrenders on murder charges after fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a driver who was sitting in his car turned himself in Friday morning and will now face murder charges in the fatal shooting.
Former Officer Mark Dial surrendered on a criminal warrant and was scheduled to be arraigned later Friday. The district attorney said the charges against Dial include murder, official oppression and other counts. His attorney said the shooting was justified.
The district attorney’s office also released police bodycam footage of the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry. It showed Dial firing his weapon through the driver’s side window of Irizarry’s sedan during a vehicle stop on Aug. 14. Dial shot Irizarry about seven seconds after getting out of a police SUV and striding over to Irizarry’s car, according to the video. Six shots were fired.
The videos, pulled from Dial’s body-worn camera and the camera of a second officer on the scene, “are crucial evidence in the case and in many ways they speak for themselves,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said at a news conference.
Dial’s attorney, Fortunato N. Perri Jr., said a vigorous defense was planned.
“Despite what has been portrayed to the media, the facts will unmistakably show that Officer Mark Dial was legally justified in discharging his weapon while fearing for his life,” Perri said in an email to The Associated Press.
Authorities have said Dial shot Irizarry as he sat in his car after officers spotted the car driving erratically around noon Aug. 14 and followed it for several blocks. Then, officers approached as the driver turned the wrong way down a one-way street and stopped.
The department backtracked after initially claiming the officers made a traffic stop and shot a person outside the vehicle after he “lunged at” police with a knife. Outgoing Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said a review of the officers’ body-worn cameras “made it very clear that what we initially reported was not actually what happened.”
Dial, who has been on the force for five years, was suspended with intent to dismiss after officials said he refused to cooperate in the investigation of the killing.