Man in custody after 'shooting six police officers' in Philadelphia

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

A man is in custody after allegedly shooting six Philadelphia police officers which led to a tense standoff lasting several hours, police say.

Philadelphia Police Sergeant Eric Gripp tweeted there was at least one suspect firing at police officers in the city's Nicetown neighbourhood at about 4.30pm on Wednesday (local time).

Footage from CNN showed dozens of officers surrounding a home on 15th Street with their guns raised hiding behind parked vehicles in a dramatic standoff.

A law enforcement source told ABC News the shootout began during a drug raid and that the shooter had barricaded himself inside a home.

Police surround a property with their guns drawn. Source: CNN

One neighbour told NBC10 that the ongoing standoff was similar to a war zone.

"It was like a war - like a scene that you see in war,” she said.

"The guns, the fire, the noise - it was like bombs going off simultaneously at a time where people are having dinner."

Sergeant Gripp warned residents on Wednesday evening that the suspect was still firing and urged people to stay clear of the area.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said officers were forced to “escape through windows and doors” when the suspect began firing as they entered the kitchen area of the home.

He said there were six officers injured from gunfire and were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Three additional officers are understood to have suffered other injuries.

Aerial footage shows two officers restraining a man. It is believed shots can still be heard in the area. Source: Twitter
Officers line a wall near the home at the centre of the stand off. Source: ABC6

Commissioner Ross said one officer was shot in the head but was able to communicate.

All six had been released from hospital by late on Wednesday.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today," Commissioner Ross said.

Police said there were two officers trapped inside the building and that a suspect inside the home had livestreamed the incident, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Commissioner Ross said he was worried about a potential hostage situation and is “concerned for the safety” of the two trapped officers.

They were in danger of being injured as shots were allegedly being fired through the ceiling from a floor below.

The two officers were eventually freed by a SWAT team after more than five hours trapped inside.

“This is a very volatile situation that is still unfolding,” Commissioner Ross said in his first brief to media.

Dramatic footage early on in the incident shows two officers detaining one man before placing him in a car but shots are still being fired from the building.

Sergeant Gripp said police had tried to communicate with the gunman, urging him to surrender.

Shots were heard by witnesses shortly before 7.30pm, about 45 minutes after the previous gunfire.

Attempts to call the gunman’s phones had failed.

Residents anxiously watch on as the standoff unfolds. Source: Getty
The area shots were fired was quickly put into lockdown. Source: CNN

Live video from news stations shows a massive police presence in a neighbourhood with dozens of police cars and officers, many of them with their guns drawn.

One woman told WPVI she heard over 100 gunshots and people were running for their lives.

"I heard so many gunshots... I'm scared," she said.

Terrified parents were left anxiously waiting if their children were unharmed at a daycare centre across the street from the standoff, which had been placed into lockdown.

Sgt Gripp said officers were taken to Temple University Hospital however the hospital refused to provide details of the officers' conditions.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said numerous agents were responding to the scene to assist Philadelphia police.

Police are asking news helicopters stay away from the area as they are hindering operations.

President Donald Trump has been briefed about the ongoing situation.

With AP

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