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Phila. Police Officer to Lose Job Over Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

Phila. Police Officer to Lose Job Over Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man

The Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

January 05, 2010

The off-duty police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 21-year-old man in November during a street fight will be stripped of his badge, Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey announced yesterday.

Frank Tepper, 43, a 16-year veteran of the force, committed “numerous violations” of Police Department procedures when he opened fire on William Panas Jr. in the Port Richmond neighborhood where they both lived, according to an investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Division.

As of yesterday, Tepper was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss him. He could not be reached for comment.

Panas’ father, William Sr., said Ramsey called him to deliver the news.

“This is a great day,” Panas said yesterday, his voice breaking. “This means he can’t kill someone else’s child while calling himself police.”

A police cruiser was parked outside Tepper’s home yesterday – police have guarded his house on Elkhart Street since the Nov. 21 shooting – and a memorial to Panas remained in place across the street.

Tepper has since moved to an undisclosed location.

Tepper also might face criminal charges. Last month, then-District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham announced a grand-jury probe into the case. That investigation is continuing and has no bearing on the decision to fire Tepper, Ramsey said in a news release.

District Attorney R. Seth Williams, who took office yesterday, said through a spokesman that he planned to review the case file today.

Said the elder Panas: “What we most want is for [Tepper] to be charged with murdering my son. We’re very grateful he’s been terminated, but the fact is he murdered my son for nothing. He should be punished for that.”

The shooting of Panas, a well-known Port Richmond native who planned to open a corner barbershop, sparked outrage, particularly among neighbors of Tepper. Many have described Tepper as a hot-tempered bully often at war with the teenagers and young adults in his community.

Tepper also has a history of reaching for his gun to settle disputes.

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  • Picture_064_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Just look the other way, excuse me for saying this but dont all police offices have a duty to the community to report things even when off duty? He should have made a better choice instead of getting a gun to solve it. Looking the other way can get people killed nice to know that this is ok with you.

  • Joe_portrait_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is a clear message..if you are off duty and you see something wrong, like a roberry, or something, just look the other way, and just prtend you saw nothing..!!

  • John_groh_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Pretty one sided if you ask me. I would like to hear both sides of this.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Like the rest of you folks, I'd like more info(too one-sided, really) to form an opinion.

  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    And what was Panas doing that caused the officer to pull out his gun? What's Panas' history? God, I hate the media sometimes...too one-sided and not getting the whole picture.

  • Aaa_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I do not accept the "call 911 story, but with the reports of this subject pulling a gun during confrontations in the past makes me wonder if he may be facing more serious charges. If he has pulled his weapon on other occasions, were disciplinary actions taken by the Department. More information is needed to make a positive statement regarding the shooting. .

  • Th_detective_max50


    over 4 years ago


    The Liberal Media only giving one side of the story?.....please say it ain't so! Let this play out to its legitimate and legal conclusion before we pass judgment based on media reporting!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    "Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said the officer violated several police policies. First, if you're an off-duty cop, you call 911" ( Are you kidding me? When is an off duty cop ever really off duty? If the situation was different and let's say someone else shot Panas, Would Tepper be "axed" as they call it in the news for not protecting?

    It's a tragedy and a young man has lost his life!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    With the increase in crimes and the increase in violence due to the down fall of our economy it's a scary world out there. I would like to thank the officer for his years of service in protecting and wish him the best of luck in this situation. Every side has two stories and this story has clearly only given one. It's a sad day when anyone dies let alone someone as young as the victim but there is also that saying and all police officers know this "act like a duck, look like a duck, your a damn duck". My sympathies and prayers to the families involved!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    We may only be seeing it as a one sided story, but apparently there is something there if his own chief isn't standing behind him and he may also be facing criminal charges. I want to stand behind a brother just as much as everyone else, but let's face reality...somethimes good people make questionable decisions. This could be one of those situations!

  • Draped_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    If your off duty your better off just turning around and callling 911....Would like more info...

  • Mourning_max50


    over 4 years ago


    wow, and the other side of the story??????

  • Native_clip_art_4_049_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Got to be another side to this matter. Would appreciate hearing what the officer has to say. Time will mandate what will happen

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


    heysarge is right. I'd really like to read the Officer's story.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Lets just say Ramsey was my Chief in DC and he is all about what the public is going to think, Which in my opinion is not how you should be a cop. He might be a Chief but he is still a cop. There are a bunch of of in DC who could not agree with the way he took care of other cops. Sad day for everyone involved no matter what.

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