Eddie Irizarry, Death – The Philadelphia police officer who shot and killed a man inside a vehicle in the city’s Kensington section earlier this week has been identified as Mark Dial, according to multiple Action News sources. The family of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry is demanding answers following the fatal shooting involving Dial, a five-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department who is assigned to the 24th District.
On Monday, police said Irizarry was outside the car when he was killed after lunging at police with a knife. Now top brass says he was fatally shot while inside his car. “At the time we gave that information, that was the best information that we had available. And we always strive to clarify and update that information as quickly and accurately as possible, that’s what we’re doing here today,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw during a press conference Wednesday.
Dial and his partner were inside a marked vehicle in the area of B Street near Westmoreland Street when they observed a Toyota Corolla with a Pennsylvania registration tag driving erratically around 12:28 p.m. The officers followed the vehicle as it turned on Westmoreland Street, then left onto Lee Street, and finally left onto Willard Street.
Officials say at that point, the Toyota continued the wrong way down East Willard Street, which is one-way. The vehicle pulled into a parking spot mid-block, at which point police say Dial, also identified in a press release as “Officer 1” and his partner “Officer A” got out of the vehicle.
When asked if the officers turned on the squad car lights and sirens, police said that was still under investigation. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw provided an update on Aug. 16, 2023, following the deadly officer-involved shooting. Authorities say Dial’s partner was driving the patrol car and approached the Toyota’s passenger side window. Dial approached the driver’s side window.
The second officer attempted to open the passenger’s side door, and as he did so, Dial was approaching the driver’s side door, according to investigators. At one point, police say Dial’s partner said the man inside the Toyota, Irizarry, had a weapon. As Irizarry turned to Dial, officials say he discharged his firearm multiple times into the vehicle, fatally wounding him in the car.
Irizarry was transported to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officials say two knives were observed inside the vehicle, which was towed to a police garage. The knives were described as a “kitchen-style knife” and a “serrated folding knife.” A knife-wielding man was shot and killed by police after he allegedly lunged at Philadelphia police officers on Monday afternoon.
Police would not say if either knife was in Irizarry’s hand when he was fatally shot. Irizarry’s family is calling for the body-worn camera footage to be released to the public. “The story changes, and it’s going to keep changing. They’re going to keep changing it. But, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. We’re going to show that they were wrong,” said Irizarry’s aunt, Zoraida Garcia.
“He’s schizophrenic at that. That’s all in the paperwork. He was reaching for his wallet when the officer shot him. Not once or twice, but five or six times,” added Garcia. Action News asked Garcia about the knife police said Irizarry had in his possession. She said it was common for him to have one.”He always did carry a little pocket knife, but it’s not nothing big,” said Garcia.
She also said he didn’t understand English very well. Investigators say Dial’s partner did not discharge a firearm during the incident. Lawyers for Officer Dial say he has the full support of the FOP as they work to investigate the facts of this tragic incident.
The district attorney’s office is conducting a criminal investigation and Internal Affairs is looking into whether protocol was broken. All the while, the Citizen’s Police Oversight Commission, an independent agency, is watching to ensure the process is fair. “We have access to the scene and all evidence. We monitor for best practices completeness, quality all in real time,” said Anthony Erace, the interim executive director of the Citizen’s Police Oversight Commission.
Family demanding answers
Family members gathered during a vigil on Wendesday night. At the event, family members continued to express their frustration over the conflicting stories of what happened. “I want answers. I have not viewed my nephew, I have not seen him, my brother has not seen him,” said Garcia.
“He was shot six times. That’s for you to kill somebody when you shoot that many times. If he didn’t do anything, there’s no reason for you to do that,” said the victim’s sister, Maria Irizarry.
“We want the officers to come forward and speak the truth about what really happened,” added Irizarry’s cousin.