PHOTOS: Philadelphia gunman identified after hourslong standoff

A police officer patrols the block near a house as they investigate an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Police urge people to leave the area as they investigate an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Police officers stand near the scene of a shooting Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Authorities stage as they respond to an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

An hours-long standoff where a gunman shot at police, wounding six of them, as he was barricaded inside a Philadelphia home somehow ended with no fatalities.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who spent hours Wednesday negotiating with the gunman through the phone, said the situation that unfolded “could have been far worse.”

READ MORE: Several police officers shot in Philadelphia

“This was a very dynamic situation, one that I hope we never see again,” he said Thursday outside the Philadelphia Police Department, which is in the process of investigating the scene.

The gunman eventually came out of the home early Thursday after police deployed tear gas in the building. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then placed into custody.

A law enforcement official identified the suspect as Maurice Hill. The official said the 36-year-old has a criminal record that includes firearms charges. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The standoff started around 4:30 p.m. as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighbourhood of brick and stone row homes to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation “that went awry almost immediately,” Ross said.

Many officers “had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.

The six officers who were struck by gunfire have been released from hospitals, said Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp.

Two other officers were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out but were freed by a SWAT team well after darkness fell on the residential neighbourhood.

Ross said the reason he made the unusual decision to be the person negotiating with Hill was because he was “so worried” about his officers stuck inside.

“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was 200 feet away,” he said Thursday.

Three people who officers had taken into custody in the house before the shooting started were also safely evacuated, police said.

Police implored the gunman to surrender, at one point patching in his lawyer on the phone with him to try to persuade him to give up, Ross said.

Authorities also held a press conference amidst the standoff in hopes that the gunman or someone he was communicating with may hear them. Ross said he was “very intentional and deliberate” with the words he used during the briefing since he was not sure if Hill knew there were two officers trapped upstairs.

Temple University locked down part of its campus, and several children and staff were trapped for some time in a nearby day care.

Police tried to push crowds of onlookers and residents back from the scene. In police radio broadcasts, officers could be heard calling for backup as reports of officers getting shot poured in.

“There was just a lot of screaming and chaos,” said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic.

Dozens of officers on foot lined the streets. Others were in cars and some on horses.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr were briefed on the shooting, officials said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was thankful that officers’ injuries weren’t life-threatening.

“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day,” Kenney said.

Associated Press writers Ron Todt in Philadelphia, Michael Balsamo in Washington, Caleb Jones in Honolulu and Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

Christina Paciolla And Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read