An hours-long standoff that lasted until early Thursday morning left six Philadelphia police officers injured and a gunman in custody.
The shooting began after officers served a narcotics arrest warrant at a home near 3700 N 15th Street around 4:30 p.m., according to reports from the Associated Press and Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp. The operation “went awry almost immediately,” Police Commissioner Richard Ross told AP, and officers soon found themselves forced to escape from “a barrage of bullets.”
The suspect has been identified by local and national media outlets as 36-year-old Maurice Hill. Gripp confirmed the suspect was in custody just after midnight Thursday morning, and said S.W.A.T. teams were continuing to clear the area.
Here’s what to know about the shoot-out in Philadelphia.
How many officers were injured?
Six officers were sent to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, and were released later in the evening, Gripp said on Twitter. A bullet grazed at least one officer’s head, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and others were shot in the arms and legs.
When the shooting began, some officers “had to escape through windows and doors to get [away] from a barrage of bullets,” Ross told the AP. As gunfire continued both in and outside the house, scores of police officers and a S.W.A.T team responded to the scene, according to the Inquirer. Institutions across North Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood, where the shooting took place, took precautions, and the nearby Temple University Health and Sciences Center Campus went into lockdown. Two neighborhood daycare centers evacuated, according to the Washington Post.
Two officers remained trapped inside the house until about 10 p.m., according to the Inquirer, and were eventually rescued by a S.W.A.T unit. They, along with three people in the house that police had taken into custody before the shooting, remained safe.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today,” Ross said, according to the AP.
Who is the suspect?
The suspected shooter has been identified by media outlets as Maurice Hill, a 36-year-old Philadelphia resident with a criminal record that includes prior gun convictions. Hill emerged from the house around midnight, after police fired tear gas into the house, according to media reports.
While the incident began after police served a narcotics arrest warrant, Hill’s former lawyer, Shaka Johnson, told CBS Philly that his motive was unclear. Johnson also said he did not know if Hill was the target of the original arrest warrant. He said Hill called him while barricaded inside the house, though it is unclear whether he will represent him moving forward.
What was the response from officials?
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said at a press conference that he spoke with the six officers who were injured and said they are in good spirits.
“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry, all that fire power, but we’ll get to that another day,” Kenney said.
Speaking to CBS News, Kenney made a stronger plea. “Our officers need help,” he said. “They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
The White House said in a statement that President Donald Trump had been briefed on and was monitoring the situation. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf also tweeted thanking first responders, and calling for stricter gun control.