6 police shot in standoff that ‘could have been far worse’
PHILADELPHIA — A gunman barricaded himself inside a Philadelphia rowhouse for 7½ hours, firing on police and wounding six in a standoff that trapped two officers and paralyzed a neighborhood, as the commissioner and the shooter’s attorney tried to negotiate a surrender.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross expressed amazement that the standoff, which began Wednesday when officers attempted to serve a drug warrant, ended with no one dead and no life-threatening injuries, despite the gunman firing over 100 rounds.
It ‘‘could have been far worse,’’ Ross said Thursday outside the Philadelphia Police Department. ‘‘This was a very dynamic situation, one that I hope we never see again.’’
The gunman came out of the home after police used tear gas. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then placed in custody.
As officers flooded the scene, the situation grew chaotic at times. Police took to Twitter to ask media helicopters to pull back at the beginning of the standoff, saying they feared the gunman might be able to see police positions in the footage. People who had been blocked or pulled from their homes clamored for information, and at times, some onlookers shouted at or shoved officers. Many ignored orders by police to stay back, ducking under or stepping over police tape.
A nearby day care center was locked down for hours and later evacuated, with police officers helping carry babies and two city buses set up where shaken children waited for their parents to pick them up.
The suspect was identified by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner as Maurice Hill, 36. Krasner said Hill had an extensive criminal history, including drug, gun, and robbery charges.