PHILADELPHIA — The police commissioner of Philadelphia says a witness to a shooting death by a police officer has confirmed the officer’s account of how the deadly encounter started, but the fact that the officer apparently fired at the man from behind is “a piece that we want to look at very closely.”

Commissioner Richard Ross said the officer was transporting a witness Thursday night when he saw a dirt bike rider driving recklessly, stopped to question him, found the man armed and drew his weapon.

Both he and the witness told the man not to draw his weapon, which was loaded with 15 cartridges, but he did, and the officer tried to fire but his gun failed. Police said he cleared a stoppage and fired as the man ran, killing him.

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