Three Philadelphia police officers from the 25th district with less than five years’ experience each are on desk duty after fatally shooting a handicapped man who allegedly tried to grab two officers’ guns.
The three officers who discharged their firearms in the Aug. 11 incident in North Philly were identified Monday by the Philadelphia Police Department under the department’s policy of naming all police officers involved in shootings.
Officer Anthony Carapucci, a four-year veteran, officer Christopher Rycek, a three-year veteran, and officer Jason Keen, a three-year veteran, all assigned to the 25th district, all fired at Tyreas Carlyle, 31, who was reportedly seated inside a vehicle and trying to grab one officer’s gun at the time.
Police said they were called to the 800 block of Darien Street, near 8th and Allegheny, at 5:12 p.m. on Aug. 12 for reports of an attempted auto theft.
There, they discovered Carlyle seated inside a 2010 Nissan Altima.
Carlyle’s grandmother Hester Carlyle told the Inquirer that she called police when Carlyle tried to take another vehicle “because he was not in his right state of mind,”and that when they arrived, he was sitting in her car.
According to the police report, Carapucci went to the scene and approached Carlyle, who reportedly relied on a walker to walk due to previously being shot in the back, and at the time was sitting in the car's driver seat.
“A struggle ensued and Carlyle attempted to remove Officer Carapucci’s holstered firearm,” a police report stated. After Keen and Rycek approached and ordered Carlyle to release the gun, he did so, then tried to grab Rycek’s gun, according to the police report.
“Officer Rycek discharged his firearm one time while Carlyle was holding the barrel, and at or about the same time, Officers Carapucci and Keen discharged their firearms,” the police report stated.
Carlyle sustained gunshots to the torso and legs and was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 5:51 p.m.
Carapucci was previously featured in the news on 6ABC in 2016 in a story about himself and his partner playing basketball with Kensington kids.
Rycek attended Father Judge High School and went on to attend Community College of Philadelphia, according to a press release from the school.
Local Black Lives Matter activists have criticized the officers' use of force in this shooting. The police department does not comment on pending investigations. As is standard in all police shootings, the case is being reviewed by Internal Affairs, the DA’s office, and the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit.
Mayor Kenney released a statement calling for a “speedy resolution” to an investigation in this shooting. "My prayers are with the family and friends of Tyreas Carlyle,” he said. “It is always tragic to lose someone you love.”