Family of man mistakenly killed by cop gets $1.8 million settlement from City of Phila.

Jon Campisi Mar. 26, 2012, 8:41am

The family of a man who was killed by a city police officer back in 2008 after the cop, who was chasing another man who had run into a house after indiscriminately firing a gun into the air during New Year’s Eve celebration, accidentally shot the victim, who was not involved in the altercation, will be receiving $1.8 million from the City of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that the family of slain hospital maintenance worker and father of three Abebe Isaac, who died a week after being shot, will receive the settlement, which was agreed to by both sides back in mid-February.

According to news reports on the incident, Isaac was at a friend’s house during a New Year’s Eve celebration back in 2008 when he and two other people were hit by gunfire that came from the service pistol of Philadelphia Police Officer George Marko.

Marko and his partner had spotted a man firing his gun into the air – a common occurrence on New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia – and, after the man ignored their command to drop the weapon, he decided to run into a nearby home, the residence where Isaac was a guest at the time.

Marko later told police investigators that he fired into the doorway of the home after he spotted the suspect, identified as Dontate Mitchell, pointing a gun at the two officers.

Marko was eventually cleared in the shooting by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, news reports state.

Charges against Mitchell, who was wounded in the arm during the confrontation, were later dropped, supposedly because Marko was unable to testify against Mitchell while Marko himself was under investigation into the shooting.

The Inquirer reported that the shooting incident has sparked lawsuits from 27 people who were at the New Year’s Eve house party at the time.

In addition to Isaac, the two other people injured during the shooting were another grown man and a 9-year-old boy who was grazed in his back by a bullet, the newspaper reported.

The Inquirer further reported that the Isaac family settlement comes on the heels of a $1.2 million settlement reached last year with the family of another unarmed man who was killed by police during a New Year’s Eve 2007 incident in which city police were also responding to a report of celebratory gunfire.

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