Update 8/15 8:31 a.m.: Just after midnight on Thursday, a man emerged in a fog of teargas, as dozens of police officers screamed “hands up, hands up, get down,” ending an eight-hour standoff that saw six officers shot.
Original story follows:
Police are still attempting to negotiate with a suspected gunman who has so far shot and wounded six police officers terrorizing this neighborhood in north Philadelphia.
The shooting began at 4:30 p.m., and as of 9:00 p.m., police officials are still describing the scene as “very active.” The gunman or gunmen pinned down dozens of police officers with gunfire through the afternoon and evening.
In addition to shooting six officers, two officers spent hours trapped in a room inside the house the shooter was firing from, until they were evacuated by a Philadelphia Police Department SWAT team shortly before 10 p.m.
Overhead video footage earlier in the day showed dozens of uniformed officers taking shelter behind parked cars or lining up beside walls in the Nicetown-Tioga area of Philadelphia on the 3700 block of North 15th Street.
Others officers were seen actively exchanging gunfire with a suspect or suspects in a residence near Temple University Health Sciences Center and Campus, which was placed on lockdown. An armored vehicle was also called to the scene.
The six cops who have been shot and were transferred to area hospitals with non life-threatening injuries, police officials said. Another police officer was injured in a car crash at the scene of the shooting.
In an update at 8:00 p.m., Mayor Jim Kenney, who appeared visibly shaken, said that all six officers who sustained gunshot wounds were in “good spirits.”
“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry, all that firepower,” Kenney added, “but we’ll get to that another day.”
Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters that they were still unable to confirm the number of shooters involved, but said officers had made numerous attempts to reach at least one of the shooters by phone.
Ross said that a suspected shooter picked up the phone, but did not speak.
“We are trying to talk to this male,” said Ross, “trying to let him know he can end this peacefully now.”
Sgt. Eric Gripp, who handles public affairs, continued to warn that the shooting was ongoing via social media.
Police successfully escorted four women, who were in the same building as the shooter, to safety.
ATF officers had also responded to the scene to assist Philadelphia police. Some Philadelphia officers were initially investigating reports of narcotics activity, according to CBS.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a No Fly Zone over the scene, with the exception of police helicopters.
Cover image: Philadelphia police stage as they respond to an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)