Philadelphia gunman in custody after hours-long standoff; wounded 6 police officers

UPDATE:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Authorities say a gunman who barricaded himself for hours inside a Philadelphia home, shooting at and wounding six officers, is in police custody.

Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said early Thursday morning that the man was taken in custody after an hourslong standoff with police. The shooting started around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Officers were serving a narcotics warrant at a home and had already entered when gunfire erupted. The gunman and police exchanged gunfire for hours.

Six officers were shot, but have been released from hospitals. Two officers had been trapped in the house during the standoff but were safely evacuated. A heavy police presence was in the neighborhood for hours with businesses, including day care centers, on lockdown and roads closed.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — At least one gunman 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, authorities said.

Two other officers were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out but were freed by a SWAT team well after darkness fell on the residential neighborhood.

None of the officers’ injuries was considered life-threatening and they were being treated at hospitals, Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said.

The shooting began around 4:30 p.m. as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighborhood of brick and stone rowhomes to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation “that went awry almost immediately,” Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

“I was just coming off the train and I was walking upstairs and there were people running back downstairs who said that there was someone up there shooting cops,” said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic. “There was just a lot of screaming and chaos.”

Many officers “had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.

Shots were still being fired three hours later, police said, and officers returned fire.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today,” the commissioner said.

Around 9:30 p.m., police said, a SWAT team freed the two officers who had been trapped inside, along with three people identified as prisoners, but the gunman remained barricaded.

Police were imploring him to surrender, at one point patching in his lawyer on the phone with him to try to persuade him to give up, Ross said.

“We’re doing everything within our power to get him to come out,” Ross said, adding: “He has the highest assurance he’s not going to be harmed when he comes out.”

Temple University locked down part of its campus, and several children and staff were trapped for some time in a nearby day care.

Police tried to push crowds of onlookers and residents back from the scene. In police radio broadcasts, officers could be heard calling for backup as reports of officers getting shot poured in.

Dozens of officers on foot lined the streets. Others were in cars and some on horses.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its agents responded to the scene to assist Philadelphia police.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr were briefed on the shooting, officials said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was thankful that officers’ injuries weren’t life-threatening.

“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day,” Kenney said.

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