PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Philadelphia authorities identified Wednesday the two officers involved in the fatal Oct. 26 shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. as police prepared to publicly release body camera footage of an incident for the first time in the department’s history.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw confirmed during a Wednesday news conference that officers Sean Matarazzo and Thomas Munz were the responding officers involved in the fatal altercation. Matarazzo, 25, joined the department in 2018, and Munz, 26, joined the force in 2017, WPVI reported.
“We truly believe that this is an important step in our commitment to transparency,” Outlaw said.
Specifically, Outlaw said the partial video of the encounter being released will show the officers arrive, the interaction between the parties involved, the lead up to the shooting and Wallace being transported to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, WPVI reported.
Meanwhile, dozens of protesters gathered ahead of the bodycam video’s release, while Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney urged the demonstrators not to riot and loot despite the video’s “painful” content, KYW-TV reported.
According to WPVI, Outlaw said the officers who shot Wallace were not equipped with stun guns, despite prior funding requests for the non-lethal weapons. Instead, Matarazzo and Munz each fired at least seven rounds, or at least 14 total shots, and police have not yet confirmed how many bullets struck Wallace.
“The city has failed not only the Wallace family, not only the other members of that community, who will be scarred and traumatized for the remainder of their days, but the city has also failed those police officers. It failed them tremendously,” Shaka Johnson, Wallace’s family’s attorney, said.
“The only remedy the police had, in that moment per their thinking, was their service weapon. There was no less lethal action available. And that has been our war cry ever since Tuesday,” Johnson added.
Wallace’s killing spawned several nights of unrest in Philadelphia, resulting in more than 200 arrests and injuries to at least 57 officers.