At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot during a gun battle in Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga section and rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. Two officers and three others who were trapped inside the home with the shooter were safely evacuated several hours after the standoff began. The gunman remains armed inside the house.
“We have gone from a hostage situation to a barricade,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Ross said that the two officers and three others inside the home took fire during the incident.
All six officers wounded in the shooting have been released from the hospital. Another officer injured in a car crash on the way to the scene still remains hospitalized.
Sources tell CBS3 the suspect was live-streaming some of the shootout while he barricaded himself inside the home.
“We are trying to get him to come out peacefully, but he is refusing to do so,” Ross said.
Ross added that it was a miracle officers weren’t killed during the incident today.
Police say officers were serving a narcotics warrant on the 3700 block of North 15th Street around 4:30 p.m. when the suspect opened fire. As police exchanged gunfire, officers escaped through windows and doors.
CBS3 reports 30 officers discharged their weapons during the shootout.
Two women and two children were escorted by SWAT and Philadelphia Police from the scene. They told CBS3 that they were inside the home on the second floor at the time of the shootout and that police saved them.
The gun battle between police and the suspect is still active. CBS3’s Greg Argos has learned the suspect has a long rifle gun and people outside their homes are being pushed back as the standoff continues.
Sources tell CBS3 that the scene was sheer chaos as officers were taking fire. Video from Chopper 3 shows officers with guns drawn at the scene. You can hear multiple gun shots during Argos’ report.
Mayor Jim Kenney called the officers “brave” and that they need help with gun control to keep weapons out of criminals’ hands.
Kenney said officers “don’t deserve to be shot at for hours.”
Chopper 3 was over the scene where police could be seen taking a suspect into custody. It’s not clear what his role was in the incident.
The scene of the shooting is right down the street from Temple University Hospital.
Several blocks around the scene have been cordoned off. Most of North Philadelphia is in gridlock due to the police presence.
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the situation.
Temple University says the lockdown at the Health Sciences Center Campus has been lifted.
SEPTA’s Broad Street Line trains are bypassing Erie, Allegheny and Hunting Park stations until further notice. The express trains will make courtesy stops at North Philadelphia station.
SEPTA bus routes 23, 53, 56, H and XH are currently on detour.