Nearly 8-hour standoff ends in Philadelphia with suspect in custody and 9 police officers wounded

Screengrab via WPVIMultiple officers were injured Wednesday in a shooting in a Philadelphia neighbourhood.
  • At least six police officers were injured in a shooting incident in Philadelphia on Wednesday, authorities said. Three additional officers sustained non-gunshot-related injuries, according to WPVI-TV.
  • The suspect surrendered to police just after midnight, putting an end to a nearly eight-hour standoff.
  • Local media outlets showed harrowing footage of heavily armed officers ducking and diving for cover amid gunfire.
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At least six police officers were shot in an rapidly unfolding gun battle in the northern Philadelphia neighbourhood of Nicetown-Tioga on Wednesday, authorities confirmed.

The officers were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Sgt. Eric Gripp of the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted. Three additional officers sustained non-gunshot-related injuries, according to WPVI-TV.

The suspect, identified as Maurice Hill, surrendered to police just after midnight, putting an end to a nearly eight-hour standoff.

Gripp tweeted that a suspect was firing at the police shortly before 2 p.m. local time. He urged people to avoid the area, and told media helicopters to pull back and stop broadcasting officers’ tactical positions.

“Suspect is still firing. STAY OUT OF THE AREA,” he tweeted around 6 p.m. EST. Gripp reported about two hours later at 8 p.m. EST that the shooter continued to fire at officers.

Gripp tweeted that police attempted to “communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries.”

Local media outlets showed harrowing images and videos of a massive police presence inundating the neighbourhood, with heavily armed officers – some in tactical gear – ducking and taking cover behind buildings and cars.

Gunfire could be heard throughout live broadcasts and bullets could be seen spraying out of a home, ricocheting off the surrounding buildings.

One officer could be seen rushing into a police cruiser, his arm drenched in blood.

Tens of thousands of listeners tuned in to Philadelphia’s police scanner online as first responders’ on-the-ground narratives of the incident unfolded. The details from the scanners remained unconfirmed by officials.

The local CBS affiliate reported that officers were first called to the scene Wednesday afternoon for reports of narcotics activity. The officers were trying to serve a warrant when gunfire broke out, WPVI reported.

Nearby, Temple University’s Health Sciences Center campus was placed on lockdown, the school tweeted, advising those in the building to “be still” and “seek shelter.”

CBS3 reported that officers escorted four women who were inside the home on the second floor when the shooting began.

“I thank God for these cops,” one of the women told CBS3. “They’re good people. They kept us safe the whole time.”

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross updated the media Wednesday evening, in the first official communication since the situation began unfolding at 4:30 pm local time. The suspect did not appear to want to surrender at that point after multiple attempts to contact him through megaphone and telephone, Ross said.

He also said that all six of the officers who were shot are in stable condition, one of whom sustained a graze wound on their head. They have since been released from local hospitals.

During the initial briefing, Ross said he believed the two officers in the building with the shooter are ok, but did not want to elaborate any more details “out of concern for their safety.” Gripp tweeted at 9:36 p.m. local time that the two officers have since been safely evacuated by a SWAT team, along with additional prisoners in the home.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters on the scene that he is “a little angry about someone having all that weaponry, but we’ll get to that another day.”

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe said via Twitter that he was monitoring the situation and “offered support to local law enforcement.”

“Praying for the recovery of the police officers who were injured in the line of duty and the safety of others responding to this incident,” Wolfe tweeted.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr were reportedly briefed on the shooting, according to representatives from the White House and the Justice Department respectively.

Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates weighed in on the situation via Twitter.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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