- 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.
Shooting situation ACTIVE and ONGOING on 3700 15th St. Avoid Area. Several PPD Officers have been injured. Updates will be provided as received
— Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) August 14, 2019
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.
The Philadelphia shooter should never have been allowed to be on the streets. He had a long and very dangerous criminal record. Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence – must get much tougher on street crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2019
Some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates weighed in on the situation via Twitter.
Law enforcement across the country put their lives on the line every day for their communities. My thoughts are with the police officers who were shot in Philadelphia and my heart is with the city. https://t.co/7bPHbORz0u
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 14, 2019
Prayers for police officers, all Philadelphians during today’s crisis. Time for fundamental break with past: universal background checks, outlaw bump stocks & assault weapons, close loopholes. Need personal, cultural & political commitment to peace – or the violence will continue
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) August 14, 2019
It is devastating that so many families are suffering, or losing the people they love, while we wait to make the substantial gun reform we need to keep people in our country safe.
Our hearts are with the people of Philadelphia tonight.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) August 14, 2019
.@DrBiden and I send our prayers to the police officers injured today in Philadelphia, and to their families who wake up every day knowing that their loved ones are walking into harm's way when they put on the badge. We're grateful for the selfless work they do to keep us safe. https://t.co/0G4h7QcTrc
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 15, 2019
When the shooting began in El Paso, first responders across our city ran towards danger. A reminder of what police officers across America risk to serve their communities each day. Thinking of Philadelphia, and everyone impacted by this gun violence epidemic we need to end. https://t.co/M68bREhkPp
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 15, 2019
I'm heartsick for the Philadelphia officers and their loved ones, and grateful for the brave first responders helping people get to safety.
We don't have to live like this. We must pass gun reform laws to end the gun violence epidemic—now. https://t.co/r0OKa1tVnc
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 15, 2019
Thank you to the brave police officers and first responders in Philly doing everything they can to keep us safe. These scenes should not be possible in the US.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) August 14, 2019
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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