A police officer who confronted at least two suspected bank robbers was shot and killed Saturday, leading to a manhunt during which an officer fatally shot one suspect, authorities said.
Investigators released few details about the shootings as police searched a wooded area for another suspect in the robbery of a bank in a grocery store.
Sgt. Steven Liczbinski, 40, a 12-year veteran who had recently been promoted, was shot with an assault weapon not far from the bank.
“It is my understanding that he was either in the car or had just gotten out of the car at the time he was struck,” Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said at a news conference outside Temple University Hospital.
The suspects fled but were later spotted by another officer, who shot and killed one, police said. Ramsey did not confirm how many people were involved in the robbery or how many were sought.
Police described a man and a woman in Muslim-type clothing and a man wearing a white hospital mask. The masked man had shoulder-length dreadlocks, but that may have been a wig, Officer Tanya Little said.
Ramsey said one of those suspects had been killed, but he did not know which one.
Liczbinski’s killing comes days after Ramsey announced a major reorganization of the police command structure and the addition of nearly 250 officers on street patrols as part of a strategy to reduce crime.
Liczbinski is survived by a wife, two sons and a daughter.
“This loss of life from a fine Philadelphia police officer is just one more example of the senseless violence that takes place here in our city,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.