Suspect in custody after standoff with Philadelphia police for almost 8 hours

UPDATED 12:30 a.m. Listen to LIVE updates from KYW Newsradio here.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After nearly eight hours, the suspect who was in a standoff with Philadelphia police is now in custody. The standoff began around 4:30 p.m. at a house near 16th Street and Erie Avenue.

Six Philadelphia police officers were shot, and two officers were trapped inside the home until around 9:30 p.m. Three other people were also safely removed from the house at the same time. 

The six injured officers were taken to Einstein Medical Center and Temple University Hospital. Three of the six officers who were shot were being treated at Temple and three others were at Einstein. 

The injuries to all six were not life-threatening, said police commissioner Richard Ross. One officer suffered a graze wound to the head, another was shot in the arm and the rest were hit in various parts of the body, but Ross said all are going to be okay.  

Mayor Jim Kenney visited all six injured officers and spoke to reporters outside Temple Hospital.

“Obviously it was a very traumatic experience for them. I was talking to one of the officers who had the graze wound to the head and he had two little boys about eight or nine, nine and 10-years-old. And I kept thinking about how their lives would have changed, just with a little bit more difference in space,” Kenney said.

The mayor wondered about how the shooter was able to amass so much firepower, but he said his thoughts were with the officers and their families, and he would leave that thought for another time.

The incident began around 4:30 p.m. 

Police attempted to call the shooter multiple times and were working with a family member to contact him.

At 8 p.m., Commissioner Richard Ross briefed the media on the ongoing active situation. The scene remained active as the shooter continued to fire out the window. 

CBS 3 reports four women were escorted from the scene around 7:30 p.m. The women said they were inside that home on the second floor at the time the shootout started, and officers saved them and brought them to safety.

Began as warrant service

Police say the initial incident was to serve a narcotics warrant at that house.

When officers got the house, the warrant turned violent and the shooter fired multiple rounds. Officers returned fire and had to escape through windows.

Officers first called for backup when shots were fired inside the property near 16th Street and Erie Avenue:

On the scene

Dozens of cops are on the scene, ducking behind cars for cover. One officer was initally seen limping and rushed to a car by fellow officers. 

Police are surrounding a house on the block. They appear to have at least two people in custody.

The mayor, district attorney, police union president, U.S. attorney and city councilmembers all made their way to Temple University Hospital. 

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation, as well as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

The FBI has offered assistance to the police department. ATF agents are also on the scene.

Firsthand account

One man told KYW Newsradio he heard gunshots earlier in the evening. 

“They made everybody come back, run back. … When I got here, I see all the cops, I see a lot of cop cars coming down, and they said like three cops got hit, you know what I mean. So, so now the guy still over there, and now they trying to negotiate with the guy.”

The rest of the day was otherwise quiet in Nicetown.

Whitney Thomas lives on Erie Avenue, and the back of his home is adjacent to the house that is currently under siege. He told KYW Newsradio he’s been trapped inside his home with his family, afraid to leave. 

He said he heard the initial shots just before 4:30 p.m., like a cluster of approximately 20 shots. He thought someone was hammering, then realized it was a shooting. 

“I mean it was kinda scary because, as I’m seeing it on the news, I’m hearing it in real life. And like if you look out the window you can see the car on 15th Street that has been shot, windows busted,” he said.

He’s witnessed SWAT converge on the block and black armored-style police vehicles. He saw men in handcuffs being lead out of the nearby home. 

All in all, he said he has heard five of so rounds of 15-20 shots between 4 and 8.30 p.m. He said he has heard police talking on the loud speaker, trying to communicate with the shooter. 

“Saying something about his family being safe and they want him to surrender peacefully and they won’t shoot him.”  

Thomas said he’s been watching the saga play out and said he has never seen anything like this. 

Right now, he is trying to stay out of the windows and away from gun shots. He said someone broke his Ring motion light in order to keep the backyard dark as police continue to try to negotiate with the shooter. 

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