Three Philadelphia Police Officers are Cleared in the Shooting Death of Vincent Parsons

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Philadelphia, October 12, 2010:  District Attorney Seth Williams has determined that Philadelphia Police Officers James Allen, Oronde Watson and Bryan Outterbridge were justified in the shooting death of Vincent Parsons on Friday April 2, 2010.  “After a lengthy and careful review of the facts in this case I concluded that the three officers acted properly in this situation,” says Mr. Williams.  “Vincent Parsons fired first and the officers had no other choice but to fire back.”

On April 2, 2010 Officers Leonard Wright, James Allen, Oronde Watson, and Bryan Outterbridge were on duty in plain clothes when they observed Vincent Parsons on the front porch of a house in the 200 block of Clapier Street.  The Officers at first believed that Parsons was his brother Steven Parsons, who was wanted on a bench warrant for gun violations, and while identifying themselves they approached the house.  Upon seeing the officers, Vincent Parsons fled the home eventually running into the Happy Hollow Playground. Officers Wright and Allen pursed on foot, and as Parsons was running Officer Allen observed a gun in Parsons’ hand.  Officers Watson and Outterbridge followed the chase in their unmarked vehicle, and entered the playground by driving up onto a walking path.  At this time Officer Allen drew his gun, identified himself, asked bystanders to leave the playground and told Vincent Parsons to drop his gun.  Vincent Parsons, instead, pointed his gun and fired off two rounds at Officer Allen.  Officers Allen, Outterbridge and Watson all returned fire, fatally wounding Vincent Parsons.  There were no injuries to civilians or police.  After the shooting police discovered in Parsons’ possession a 9mm Ruger semi automatic pistol, seven purple ziplock bags containing powder cocaine, currency and a piece of government identification in another person’s name.  At the time of his death Vincent Parsons had an outstanding federal warrant for firearms violations.  A search of the home on Clapier Street resulted in the seizure of ammunition, body armor and drug paraphernalia.

The District Attorney’s investigation of this shooting is now officially closed.

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