Six police officers shot in Philadelphia, gunman in custody
PHILADELPHIA — A gunman who opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in Philadelphia, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the night, is in police custody, authorities said.
Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said early Thursday morning that the man was taken into custody after an hourslong standoff with police.
The officers were taken to area hospitals, where they were treated and later released, the police said. One officer who was injured in an accident while responding to the standoff was admitted to the hospital for what the authorities described as non-life-threatening injuries.
The shooting began at about 4:30 p.m., prompting SWAT teams to converge on the home, in the Nicetown-Tioga section of the city.
“It is a very volatile situation that is still unfolding,” Richard Ross, the city’s police commissioner, said during a news conference just after 8 p.m. outside Temple University Hospital.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Gripp said on Twitter that two officers who had been inside the house had been safely evacuated, but that the gunman remained holed up. Officers had been trying to communicate with him by phone and by a bullhorn, but he was not responding, the authorities said.
Ross said that the gunfire had broken out as officers were moving toward the kitchen in the back of the house. They returned fire, he said, and some jumped out of windows to escape a “barrage of bullets.”
One officer was grazed in the head. Another was shot in the arms. All six were expected to recover, Ross said.
The authorities did not name the gunman, but said he had an extensive criminal history and had opened fire on every officer who had responded, including the commissioner and a SWAT team vehicle.
The standoff began when police tried to serve the narcotics warrant in the 3700 block of North 15th Street and were met with gunfire, the authorities said.
Heather Logan, 47, who lives about a block from the shooting, said she dived for safety when the shots started.
“We were ducking behind cars,” she said. “It was like Beirut out here for a little bit.”
Four or five gunshots could be heard around 5:45 p.m. Two more bursts of shots rang out after 6 p.m.
The shooting drew the attention of President Trump as well as Attorney General William Barr.
“The president has been briefed on the shooting in Philadelphia and continues to monitor the situation,” Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said in a statement.
Aerial camera footage showed a large police presence at the scene. But the police urged media helicopters to pull back, saying that they were hindering operations.
Dr. Alfred Titus, a professor of criminal justice at John Jay College, said Wednesday night that six police officers being shot while serving a warrant was “very unusual.”
But Titus said there’s an increasing perception among police officers that people are emboldened to “not give themselves up” and possibly turn routine interactions with the police into violence.
“The unusual is now becoming the not so unusual,” said Titus.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.