UPDATE: Man Suspected of Shooting Philly Police Officers Surrenders
UPDATE 12:33 a.m. EST: The man suspected of shooting six police officers and holding several hostages on Wednesday surrendered to police at around midnight. According to NBC10, "a member of the SWAT team shot tear gas into the home on North 15th and Butler streets around midnight. The suspect then walked out of the home and was taken into custody by police."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Police sources identified him as Maurice Hill, 36 — a Philadelphia man with a lengthy history of gun convictions and of resisting attempts to bring him to justice."
I'm going to go out a limb and guess that Hill was not legally in possession of the firearms he used to shoot police officers.
UPDATE 10:15 p.m. EST: Police Commissioner Ross just held a press conference confirming that all the hostages and police officers that were being held in the house are safe. "SWAT was able to successfully extract the two police officers that were trapped upstairs as well three prisoners," he said. "They were all taken out safely thus far, however, this male is still holed up inside there."
Ross said they were finally able to talk to him about 30 minutes ago and they made some progress with the suspect. "It appears his attorney was on the 3-way line, apparently was trying to assure him that we weren't here to harm him, but after that, conversation ceased."
"We do know that he's still alive and we're just trying to appeal to him that he's got a reason to come out and surrender right now," said Ross. "We have gone from a hostage situation to a barricade because all of the hostages were taken out safely." It's unknown at this time whether the shooter is injured.
Ross praised SWAT, DHS, hostage negotiators, and other law enforcement officials for their efforts. "We were very lucky," he said. "We had six police officers shot in one incident. It is remarkable that, I believe, a couple of them have been released already, so it is nothing short of astounding that in such a confined space that we didn't have more of a tragedy than we. did.
"We are so thankful that they were able to get out and we were able to get the other folks out -- the prisoners that were in there are also unharmed, and I don't even know, miraculously, how that happened, because there were multiple gunshots fired," he said.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney held a press conference of his own, politicizing the shooting and calling for stricter gun control laws.
This tweet sums up my feelings on Kenney's sanctimonious virtue-signaling presser:
Update 9:38 p.m. EST: Finally some good news via CBS Philadelphia: Officers (reportedly two) that were pinned down or held hostage are now out of the house and it is no longer a hostage situation, although the gunman remains inside the home. Reporters on the scene said they heard loud bangs, possibly flash-bang grenades. Now police just need to smoke the thug out. Hopefully, this will be resolved quickly now that officers are out of harm's way.
Fox is reporting that the suspect had an AR-15 and several handguns (and, it seems, a crapload of ammo). When the police officers attempted to serve the warrant, the suspect barricaded himself in the house, placing furniture in front of the door, and began raining gunfire down on officers.
UPDATE 9:14 p.m. EST: Just when you think the situation could not get more complicated, law enforcement officials and reporters on the scene are having to deal with inclement weather, including lighting and a flash-flood warning. That's in addition to the darkness that fell about an hour ago.
UPDATE: 8:13 p.m. EST: As darkness fell in Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Richard Ross gave an update on the ongoing active shooter situation in Philadelphia. "We've got a pretty horrible situation unfolding... it is not resolved," he told reporters.
He said that police entering the residence to serve a warrant, the suspect fired multiple rounds, forcing police to flee, in some cases, through windows.
Ross confirmed that six officers have been shot, but all are in stable condition, including one officer who sustained a "graze wound" to the head —THANK GOD!
"He continues to fire rounds out the window, so this situation is in no way resolved," he explained. "We are trying to talk to this man, trying to tell him that he can end this peacefully," he added, saying that they've thus far not been able to make contact with the suspect, whom they've been trying to reach by phone and bullhorn. He said he is worried about a potential additional "hostage situation" at this time, but gave no details. He said police have tried to communicate to the gunman that the officers are ok, promising he would not be harmed if he surrenders.
Asked if he could confirm that there is only one shooter, the commissioners said, "right now we're not sure and I don't want to say that and be wrong." He also suggested that there may be additional suspects "in custody" inside the home.
"There is no indication that he is trying to surrender -- we do know he is still alive because of the shots that are coming out," he said. "We are doing everything within our power to get him to come out."
I'm no expert on law enforcement tactics, but it seems to me that the commissioner was trying to communicate with the suspect via the press conference, having failed to reach him by phone. I can't think of any other reason the commissioner would leave such a volatile crime scene to talk to reporters, but I could be wrong.
REMINDER: Officers are still in grave dangers, so if you're a praying person, you know what to do.
UPDATE 7:46 p.m. EST: It's a wonder Kamala Harris didn't break a leg climbing over other 2020 candidates to get her face on the news to politicize a shooting we know next to nothing about.
Next up to politicize the shooting, Julian Castro:
Here's the dispatch recording as the scene unfolded earlier. That's gotta be one of the toughest jobs in America. I don't know about Philadelphia, but around here, dispatch jobs pay very little.
UPDATE 7:19 p.m. EST: Police are reportedly negotiating with the shooter, "imploring" him to give himself up, according to NBC Philadelphia. A reporter on the scene said there was just a "big bang" followed by a "rapid-fire" volley of gunshots.
The owner of the Precious Babies Learning Center, a daycare center near the shooting, told NBC Philadelphia that "all the children are safe, however, we still are asking parents, do not come here to the scene as it is dangerous." Once the area is declared safe, she said, parents will then be permitted to pick up their children. There are currently 80 children, ages six weeks to 10 years old, at the center. They're being monitored and kept away from the windows. The owner said that the children are being cared for and fed and that they have enough food and other supplies to last until the standoff ends.
As the daycare owner was speaking to reporters, she was told that the children are now being evacuated from the facility. Video footage shows police officers carrying babies and holding the hands of children as they escorted them from the building. It's a heartbreaking scene and one can only imagine how terrified the children and their parents must be. God bless these police officers.
UPDATE 7:00 p.m. EST: The standoff continues. According to local news reports, the shooter was located in the kitchen of the home and began shooting through the floor at officers on an upper floor with an "AK-47." (This a good time to remind readers that reporters very often have no idea what they're talking about when reporting on firearms; I'd be surprised if it was actually an AK-47). An officer remains trapped in the building with the assailant.
UPDATE 6:35 p.m. EST: NBC Philadelphia is reporting that at least one police officer is trapped in the home with the shooter. The situation remains tense and extremely dangerous.
In case you are wondering, CNN has already begun suggesting that President Trump is to blame for the shooting because of his inaction on gun control. And you, dear rural voters, are also to blame. Despicable.
UPDATE 6:25 p.m. EST: It's now being reported that six officers have been shot and several others are being treated for non-gunshot injuries. This should go without saying, but keep these officers and their families in your prayers.
UPDATE 6:09 p.m. EST: Police say the altercation began when narcotics officers attempted to serve a warrant. Fox 29 is reporting that six officers have been shot and a seventh was injured in an automobile accident. Local sources are saying that the injuries are all "non-life-threatening" at this point.
UPDATE 6:02 p.m. EST: Philadelphia Police Sergeant Eric Gripp warned on Twitter that the suspect is still firing. He advised residents to avoid the area:
He ordered news helicopters to pull back, saying they were hindering the law enforcement operation:
An area daycare told parents that the children are sheltering in place and asked them not to pick up their children until the situation is contained.
UPDATE: 5:47 p.m. EST: Police now say that five officers have been shot. The male suspect appears to be barricaded in the house pictured below and continues to fire on police.
According to local news sources, trains and buses in the area are being rerouted to avoid the area.
Four Philadelphia police officers were reportedly shot on Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood, in what appears to be an ongoing active-shooter situation that began around 4:30 p.m. Eastern.
"Shots fired, cars stand by... shots fired at police," a distraught dispatcher cried, calling for units to respond to the scene of the crime at 15th Street and Butler. A massive police presence descended on the area, including armored vehicles, ATF, SWAT, and hundreds of police officers, as law enforcement officials attempt to gain control of the situation.
According to local reports, four officers have been transported to a local hospital; one reportedly was shot in the head while another was shot in the arm. Police say one assailant has been shot, while another continues to fire on police.
Nearby Temple University issued a "shelter-in-place" warning for students and police are attempting to evacuate homes in the neighborhood. The scene appears to be chaotic, with residents wandering the streets and looking on from their front porches as police attempt to secure the area.
One witness told NBC Philadelphia that she heard "over 100" shots fired before police were able to respond to the scene and smelled gunpowder in the air.
This is a developing situation. PJM will update when more information becomes available.