A dramatic standoff in Philadelphia that left six police officers wounded by gunfire ended just after midnight Thursday with the alleged gunman’s surrender.
“This was a very dynamic situation, one that I hope we never see again,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said after the seven-hour stand-off ended, according to The Associated Press.
A law enforcement official has identified the suspect as 36-year-old Maurice Hill, who has a lengthy criminal record of drug-related offenses.
The incident started around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when police tried to serve a narcotics warrant at a home in the Tioga-Nicetown section of Philadelphia, according to local station WPVI.
The officers had entered the home and were walking through the kitchen near the back of the residence when gunfire rang out.
“The shooter fired multiple rounds. Officers returned fire—many of whom had to escape through windows and doors to get away from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.
Two of the officers remained trapped inside the home for hours until a SWAT team was able to free the officers around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday night.
Six officers were shot during the incident. All had non-life-threatening injuries and were later released from a local hospital.
As police swarmed the area Wednesday night and moved in large tactical vehicles, Ross made what he called the “unorthodox” move to be an active part of police response and was the person who negotiated directly with Hill.
He made the decision to be an active part of the response because he said he would be “so worried” about his officers that remained inside the home had he not been directly involved.
“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was 200 feet away,” he said.
Hill surrendered shortly after midnight after SWAT officers shot tear gas into the home.
Hill’s longtime attorney Shaka Johnson told local station WCAU that he talked with Hill on the phone around 8:30 p.m. and said the alleged gunman had “wanted to try to figure a way out” of the tense situation.
“He said he wouldn’t come out unless I was standing outside because he knows I wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him,” Johnson said.
Johnson said it's likely Hill will now face six counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault.
Neighbors in the area described the terror they felt as the shots rang out, with one woman telling WPVI that she thought she had heard more than 100 gunshots.
“I heard so many gunshots. … I’m scared,” she said.
Parent Kenny Williams told the station his children had been at a nearby day care when the gunfire began.
“When they said it was actually across the street from the day care—it’s a parent’s nightmare,” he said.
Off-duty medic Abdul Rahman Muhammad told the AP the scene was full of “screaming and chaos” as people rushed from the scene.
Despite the injuries to officers, Ross said the incident “could have been far worse” and was grateful there were no fatalities.
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