At least six police officers were shot and wounded as narcotics officers trying to serve an arrest warrant late Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia were met by a hail of bullets from a gunman who livestreamed his assault on the cops.
The drama unfolded over a period of several hours and continued into the night, with the gunman firing at surrounding police from multiple positions. Two narcotic unit bicycle officers remained trapped inside the house with three handcuffed suspects. They were reportedly sheltering on the second floor, while the gunman on the first floor fired through the ceiling. Police said the suspect was livestreaming the attack online.
Police were cautious as they feared a hostage situation. The two officers pinned down inside the building were relaying details about the shooter’s position to a dispatcher as the firing continued. Scanner comments identified the shooter as using a “long gun.”
At 7:30 p.m., a police department spokesman posted on the force’s Twitter account @PhillyPolice that the shooter was still engaging officers, and the PPD was “attempting to communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries.”
Published reports said none of the six officers had life-threatening injuries, although one was struck in the head.
Philadelphia police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. told reporters that the suspect had been called numerous times and refused to respond.
“We are trying to get him to come out peacefully, but he is refusing to do so,” Ross said. Ross said the male shooter “continues to fire rounds out of the window,” as authorities continued to attempt to speak with him, “trying to let him know he can end this peacefully now.”
A day care center near the shooting scene was briefly locked down before police were able to move 58 children and adults to safety.
In 1978 in Philadelphia, a confrontation with the radical black activist group MOVE led to a firefight that left one officer dead. Nine members of the group were found guilty. The group moved into a rowhouse that they fortified and used as a base of operations, assembling an arsenal of weapons. In a 1985 conflict with police attempting to serve arrest warrants escalated into a full-on firefight. Attempting to flush out the MOVE members, police dropped an incendiary device on the rowhouse, but the ensuing fire wound up leveling 61 homes and killing 11 MOVE members.
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
Source:: Boston Herald