Law enforcement

US Marshals Shoot Man Armed With Machete During Confrontation in Philly, Police Say

US Marshals stun then shoot man who Philadelphia police say exited his car armed with a machete in the Wissinoming neighborhood

What to Know

  • US Marshals stunned then shot a man who police say exited his car armed with a machete.
  • The incident took place Wednesday morning near Wissinoming Park in Philadelphia.
  • Police rushed the man to a nearby hospital.

U.S. marshals opened fire on a man who was armed with a machete in Philadelphia Wednesday morning, more than a week after he threatened a police officer, law enforcement said. Neighbors had children leaving for school duck for cover as gunfire rang out.

On May 13 at noon, an Abington Township Police officer spotted a man sleeping in his car in the parking lot of Lorimer Park on the 100 block of Moredon Road in the Huntingdon Valley section of Abington Township.

The man, who was wearing what appeared to be a ballistic vest, threatened the officer, telling him that the next time he saw him, "it would be bloody," according to investigators.

Police later identified the man as 31-year-old Joseph F. Ankrah of Philadelphia. Investigators learned Ankrah had tried to buy an assault rifle and handgun back in March but was denied. Ankrah was then charged with terroristic threats and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police searched Ankrah's last known address on the 5800 block of Sylvester Street but were unable to find him. They then reached out to the United States Marshals for help. 

On Wednesday, around 8:15 a.m., U.S. Marshals found Ankrah in a car along the 5900 block of Charles Street in Philly's Wissinoming section, police said.

As the Marshals approached, Ankrah allegedly jumped out of his car while armed with a machete.

The marshals used a stun gun on Ankrah after he refused to drop the weapon, police said. Ankrah then ran off into an alley where marshals fired several shots, investigators said. 

Ankrah was shot once in the lower back, and the officers took him to the hospital. His condition has not yet been revealed.

Nearby, Wagner Martinez hurried his kids indoors as gunshots rang out.

"I told my kids to get inside the house — I was trying to get the kids to school, then I saw somebody fleeing in the alley,” he said.

A machete sheath was left in the alley. Police also said Ankrah was in possession of other weapons and a Kevlar vest.

In the aftermath of the shooting, police could be seen surrounding a roped off area that included a section of Wissinoming Park. That is where witnesses said the injured man, having darted out of the alley, finally dropped the machete and surrendered.

The United States Marshals Service didn’t immediately have comment about the incident.

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