Philadelphia officer shot in holdup dies
PHILADELPHIA – A police officer shot during a robbery shop died Thursday morning, and his killer remained at large. He was the third city officer shot in the span of four days.Chuck Cassidy, 54, was shot in the forehead Wednesday at a Dunkin’ Donuts when a hooded robber spun from the counter and fired at him as he walked in the door, according to an employee.The 25-year police veteran died at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said.”This is a sad day for the city of Philadelphia,” Johnson said.The gunman went into the shop and demanded money just before Cassidy opened the door, according to witnesses.Police released portions of a chilling videotape that shows the hooded robber pushing aside two customers and waving a gun as he approaches the counter. It also shows him grabbing Cassidy’s pistol as he fled.Investigators said they were not getting good leads; a $115,000 reward was announced Thursday for information leading to an arrest. The department also established a trust fund for Cassidy’s family.Johnson said video showed the gunman running through the shop’s parking lot with a distinctive gait, almost as if he had a limp.”We still have an armed and dangerous man out there in the streets of Philadelphia,” Johnson said.In a statement Thursday, Cassidy’s family said they were “deeply appreciative of all the support and prayers from the police, the clergy, the community and many folks we don’t even know.”The officer came in twice a day for a large coffee with cream and sugar, shop employee Sandra Kim said. “He’s always nice to all the employees,” she said. “The officer was just coming in for a cup of coffee like normal.”Johnson said the officer was doing a routine check on the shop, which had been robbed Sept. 18 – possibly by the man who killed Cassidy. He said he didn’t think the robber got away with any money.Police on Thursday displayed a photo of a distinctive jacket worn by the robber in the September case. The hooded jacket has a stylized cartoon drawing of a basketball player.The shooting came about 12 hours after a masked gunman shot traffic Officer Mario Santiago in the shoulder during a chase downtown.Santiago was responding to a report of a gunman in a sport utility vehicle shooting at another car, injuring two men and a woman, police said.He was chasing the SUV when the gunman eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car, firing twice through the window. Santiago was hit once in the right shoulder, Johnson said.Santiago was in fair condition. Authorities said the suspected gunman apparently jumped into the Schuylkill River, where searchers later recovered a body.Early Sunday, an officer responding to a melee at a West Philadelphia nightclub was shot in the ankle. More than two dozen bullets were fired, police said. One suspect was fatally shot and another was arrested.A prayer service for Cassidy was scheduled for Friday morning at City Hall.—Associated Press writer Kathy Matheson contributed to this report.
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