Philadelphia Man Killed After Targeting ATM With Explosives Amid Mass Protests

June 3, 2020 Updated: June 3, 2020

A Philadelphia man was killed by explosives June 2 after attempting to blow up an ATM machine in Kensington amid mass rioting and looting, according to local reports.

The unidentified 24-year-old was attempting to blow up a cash machine located outside Sidekicks Sports Bar on the 2200 block of North 2nd Street, just west of Norris Square Park at around 6:15 a.m.

However, the explosive device reportedly detonated and he was thrown to the ground, suffering serious injuries. Investigators said the victim suffered trauma to his upper body and was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police say while the ATM was severely damaged by the explosion its safe remained intact. Live explosives were recovered at the scene.

A number of other ATM machines were also targeted with explosive devices across the city and emptied of money, mainly at local convenience stores, gas stations, and sidewalks. Some machines were reportedly being stolen. Photos and video footage shared on Twitter show some of the damage.

According to CBS News, around 30 ATMs were damaged and an undisclosed amount of money was stolen from them as Philadelphia entered its third night of protests following the death of George Floyd.

The Philadelphia Police Department is regularly posting updates on Twitter sharing how many people have been arrested related to the protests since Saturday.

As of June 3, officials said 488 people had been arrested for curfew violations and failure to disburse, while 192 were detained for looting or burglary.

A further 11 have been arrested for assaulting police, three have been arrested for firearms violations, six have been detained for theft, and one has been detained for vandalism. One more has been arrested for rioting, another for the propulsion of a missile.

Philadelphia implemented a citywide curfew which began on Monday night from 6 p.m. through to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, and while many protesters took to the streets throughout the day to peacefully demonstrate, police were forced to use tear gas and nonlethal bullets in an attempt to control crowds of hundreds that had gathered at the I-676 expressway, between the 20th and 22nd Street bridges.

In a statement on Monday, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the use of gas was “a means to safely diffuse a volatile and dangerous situation, and restore order.”

“We have repeatedly assured our great communities that we will protect, preserve, and uphold every person’s constitutional right to protest. However, we cannot tolerate acts of violence and other criminal activity,” Outlaw said.

“Today’s deployment of tear gas was a means to safely diffuse a volatile and dangerous situation and restore order, when it became increasingly clear that other measures were ineffective in accomplishing that necessary objective. We will continue to evaluate the propriety of all applications of force, and make determinations as the circumstances of each unique situation dictate,” she said.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the “use of tear gas during a demonstration is something that I never wanted to witness during my time as mayor,” adding that he was “deeply saddened that peaceful protests for such an important cause are being diminished by actions that threaten public safety.”

Kenney said police had issued several warnings to protesters before deciding to deploy tear gas to encourage the crowd to disperse, and that he supports law enforcement’s decision to do so.

“We will only be able to move forward if we are united together, and we must keep each other safe while supporting each other through our grief. I urge Philadelphians to continue peaceful protesting in ways that do not put yourselves, your fellow Philadelphians, or law enforcement officers in danger,” he added.