To the people who know him, it’s unfathomable that Kaleb Belay, 25, could have provoked a police officer to shoot him multiple times. Yet, Philadelphia police say that’s just what happened Wednesday on the 4900 block of Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia.
“I just can’t see him being an aggressive person toward anybody,” said Nazareth Teklesenbet, who described Belay, a Temple University student and bookkeeper for a local restaurant, as a helpful and positive person at a community meeting Sunday afternoon that drew close to 100 people concerned about his shooting.
Two Philadelphia officers responding to a call for a person with a weapon and a report of a stabbing got out of their patrol car on Hazel shortly before 7 p.m. The officers reported that Belay came from behind a large bush holding a knife. The officers backed away and ordered him to drop the knife several times, but, police said, he kept walking toward them. One of the officers shot him multiple times in the chest, police said.
The department reported that Belay was holding a steak knife.
There did not end up being a stabbing victim associated with this incident, police reported Sunday.
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