Philadelphia Police Shootings Suspect Surrenders After Nightlong Standoff


PHILADELPHIA — Six Philadelphia police officers were shot during a standoff with a gunman on Wednesday that began when they tried to serve a narcotics warrant and ended more than seven hours later when the suspect surrendered, the authorities said.

The officers were taken to local hospitals, where they were treated and later released, the police said. The suspect was taken into custody around midnight, his hands raised as he emerged from a house north of Center City.

The city’s police commissioner identified the suspect as Maurice Hill, 36, who has an extensive criminal history.

The shooting started at about 4:30 p.m., prompting SWAT teams to converge on a home in the Nicetown-Tioga section of the city.

“It is a very volatile situation that is still unfolding,” the commissioner, Richard Ross Jr., said during a news conference just after 8 p.m. outside Temple University Hospital.

The gunman had fired on every officer who had responded, including the commissioner and a SWAT team vehicle, the authorities said.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Sgt. Eric Gripp of the Philadelphia Police Department 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.

In a tweet at 12:08 a.m. Thursday, Sergeant Gripp said that the suspect was in custody and that SWAT team members were still clearing the house.

Commissioner 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, he said.

The city’s mayor, Jim Kenney, said that he had spoken with all six officers at the hospitals and that they were in good spirits. He said that seeing the young sons of the officer who was grazed by a bullet made him realize how their lives could have changed drastically had things gone a little differently.

“Just a little bit more and those two will grow up without their dad,” Mr. Kenney said during a news conference at about 10 p.m.

Mr. Kenney, a Democrat, used the spotlight of the standoff to push for tougher gun control measures and admonished policymakers for their lack of action.

“Our officers need help, they need help with gun control,” Mr. Kenney said. “They don’t deserve to be shot at with an unlimited supply of weapons and unlimited supply of bullets.’’

“This government,’’ he said, “both on the federal and the state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”

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.

Heather Logan, 47, who lives on North 15th Street, 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.”

Vernon Fields, the chef at Tasteful Sensations Seafood and Soul Food, said that he went outside to see what was going on and heard gunshots coming from several blocks away.

“We smelled the gunfire,” he said. “We saw people running down the street — police officers ducking and getting their weapons out.”

Four or five gunshots could be heard around 5:45 p.m. A police officer at the perimeter of the scene was reaching toward his gun holster shortly after the shots were fired. Two more bursts of shots rang out after 6 p.m.

The shooting of six police officers drew the attention of President Trump as well as Attorney General William P. 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.

Abi Oshogbo, 39, who lives less than three blocks from the scene, said she was most concerned about the Precious Babies Learning Academy, a day care center close to the site of the shooting that she said had been locked down by police. She said her niece was in the building. She said that she didn’t know how many children were inside but that the center covered three floors.

“This is my community,” she said. “My niece attends that day care. We have to make sure the children get out safe.”

As a resident of the Nicetown section, she said, she hears shots occasionally — but nothing like as many as she heard today.



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