PHILADELPHIA PA (June 5, 2023)(CNBNews)-- On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at approximately 7:17 PM, P/O Thomas Ditro and his partner were in full uniform and operating a marked patrol car in the area of 1800 Hart Lane when they heard gunshots. The officers observed civilians running from
the area and began to look for a scene and any possible shooting victim(s). The officers exited their vehicle at the corner of Ruth and Hart Lane and observed Sgt. Michael Spicer, who learned from a witness that the gunshots came from 28xx Ruth Street. All three officers approached the location and observed a Fired Cartridge Casing (FCC) at the steps to the front door. Sgt. Spicer heard noise and movement coming from inside the house and forced entry to look for possible shooting victims.
Uniform officers cleared the first and second floor locating two females and one male and escorted them outside of the location. Sgt. Spicer, P/O Cespedes, P/O Ditro, and Officer “A” (24th District) entered the basement and located a white male, later identified as Dimitri Klimov, hiding in the crawl space in the rear of the basement. Sgt. Spicer went to the larger hole on the right side of the crawl space and Officers “A”, Cespedes, and Ditro went to the smaller hole on the left side of the crawl space.
The officers continuously yelled for Klimov to show his hands and to exit the crawl space area. Officers observed Klimov with a rock in his hand and ordered him to drop it. After several minutes of Klimov refusing the officers’ verbal commands, Officer “A” drew his Taser and pointed it at Klimov. At that point, Klimov grabbed the officer’s Taser. In response, the Taser was deployed.
While Klimov was in the crawl space, P/O Ditro announced that Klimov was armed with a gun. In response, P/O Ditro, Sgt. Spicer, and P/O Cespedes discharged their weapons at Klimov.
Officer “A” stumbled to the ground and shouted that he was shot in the right hand. He immediately exited the basement and was transported to Temple Hospital in stable condition. He was subsequently treated and released.
Sgt. Spicer, and Officers Cespedes and Ditro contained Klimov inside the crawl space and waited for the arrival of SWAT officers. An officer, with the aid of a shovel, was able to reach inside the crawl space and drag the gun out. The gun landed on the basement floor and was kicked away from the immediate area. SWAT officers arrived on location and removed the male from the crawl space. The male had gunshot wounds to his chest.
Klimov was pronounced at the scene by Philadelphia Fire Department medics.
Preliminary evidence from witnesses shows that Klimov was having an argument/fight with unknown males on the block at 2800 Ruth Street. Klimov came into the house and retrieved his gun. Klimov went outside with the gun and fired two shots. Klimov ran back into the house and entered the basement with the gun. Moments later the police entered the house.
Preliminary evidence also indicates that Klimov did not discharge a weapon inside of the residence. It is believed Officer “A” was struck by friendly fire.
All three (3) discharging officers BWCs were activated for this incident.
Klimov’s firearm: Semi-automatic, unknown make and model at this time was recovered at the scene and is being swabbed for DNA.
Sgt. Michael Spicer is a 28-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and is currently assigned to the Kensington Police District.
Officer Tylor Cespedes is a 3-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and is currently assigned to the 24th District.
Officer Thomas Ditro is a 10-month veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and is currently assigned to the 24th District.
All three discharging officers have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the Officer Involved Shooting investigation and Internal Affairs investigation.