Philadelphia Detective Shot Panhandler He Thought Was A Robber

By Bill Galluccio

May 24, 2019

A police detective in Philadelphia has been placed on desk duty after he shot a homeless panhandler who he thought was trying to rob him. 29-year-old Francis DiGiorgio had just left a crime scene and was sitting at a red light when he noticed the man, identified as 28-year-old Joel Johnson, walking toward his unmarked police car with his arms extended.

DiGiorgio believed the man was armed and fired four shots, shattering his car's window and striking Johnson once in the stomach. Johnson was rushed to the hospital and is expected to survive. He is listed in stable but critical condition.

Johnson's family says that he has special needs and routinely begs for change in the area. His older brother, Jose Tirado, questioned the details of the shooting in a Facebook post.

"Many people know him and know that he ask people for change and he has special needs but to shoot him threw a close car window without asking a question is crazy," Tirado wrote. "I'm not condemning any officer for this but being a former officer for many years, I know what it is to have gun control. "

Authorities did not find a weapon on Johnson and have launched an internal affairs investigation.

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