US: Several police officers shot in Philadelphia | News | DW | 14.08.2019
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US: Several police officers shot in Philadelphia

Forces have taken a man into custody in the city of Philadelphia after six police officers were hurt in the neighborhood of Nicetown. Two officers were rescued by SWAT forces after an hourslong standoff with the shooter.

A man was arrested in Philadelphia late Wednesday after authorities said several police officers had been shot in the neighborhood of Nicetown, in the northern part of the city.

Sergeant Eric Gripp urged residents to avoid the area and confirmed on Twitter that at least one suspect had fired at police and that six officers had been injured. They were later released from local hospitals.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, quoting police sources, the shooting began when officers arrived at a house to serve a warrant related to narcotics. 

In a press conference, Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the male suspect "holed up in the house."

The suspect intermittently fired shots at police through a window and held two officers hostage for several hours. The officers were "safely evacuated" by a police SWAT team, but authorities did not provide details about how they were freed.

Ross said officers called the suspect's phone, talked with him through a bullhorn and involved a family member in the negotiations.

Neighborhood on lockdown

Residents were evacuated from nearby streets. Temple University tweeted that its Health Sciences Center Campus, located in the area of the shooting, went into lockdown when the shooting began in the afternoon. The university told students in the campus to take shelter.

"Secure doors. Be silent. Be still. Police are responding," one of the tweets read. Students were locked down for approximately two hours and then released, but they were told to not stay in the area.

A massive police presence, with dozens of cars and officers, many of them with their guns drawn, could be seen in images from local media outlets. Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots.

Local news outlet NBC10 Philadelphia reported that an officer and a pedestrian were injured in a car crash at the scene.

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

jcg, mkg/kl (AP, AFP)

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