PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – Police officers were taunted laughed at by a crowd of bystanders during a tense standoff in which multiple Philadelphia police officers were shot during a hostage situation.
Now, six police officers have been treated for their wounds, but the intense events of the evening will be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
Alexandria Hoff tweeted about the raucous group that laughed while officers fought to neutralize the threat and free the innocent hostages inside.
I mentioned this at 10 and since I was harassed during that live shot, I’ll mention it here too. A major moment of disappointment this evening was watching a crowd of people taunt police officers, laughing and yelling at them in the midst of the gunfire. #PhiladelphiaShooting
— Alexandria Hoff (@AlexandriaHoff) August 15, 2019
Read that again. While police officers were battling a well-armed criminal with obvious intent to cause harm… these people laughed and cheered the gunman on.
That’s the anti-police world we apparently now live in.
The suspect in the hours-long standoff on Philadelphia’s north side surrendered to authorities just after midnight Thursday, exiting the residence with his hands in the air and with a police light shining on him, surrounded by a cloud of tear gas.
The chaotic scene stretched on for over 7 hours as six officers were shot — and two officers and three hostages were later freed, apparently unhurt.
Three officers were rushed to Temple University Hospital, officials said.
Three other officers were taken to Einstein Hospital, at least one of them was shot in an arm. All six officers were in stable condition and treated for non-life-threatening injuries before doctors released them, Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the outcome “nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today. We are so thankful for that.”
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Two other officers, including a police sergeant, were injured in an accident related to the emergency response and were being treated. Their injuries were believed to be non-life threatening.
The suspect was identified by unnamed police sources as 36-year-old Maurice Hill from Philadelphia.
Crowd taunts Philadelphia police officers during active shooter situation https://t.co/gXSf3FhEZo
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 15, 2019
The alleged shooter has a storied and well-documented history of gun-related convictions and of attempting to evade arrest, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ross said two officers with the Narcotics Strike Force were serving a warrant at the multifamily home, for what may have been a drug-related offense, when things “went awry almost immediately,” and the shooter opened fire at the home. The two officers were barricaded in separate rooms with several hostages.
Officials stated that the shooter was armed with an AR-15 and several handguns.
Philadelphia police are responding to reports of a gunman that left at least five officers injured. https://t.co/R2miTXz6Nl
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) August 14, 2019
Ross said many rounds of ammunition struck a SWAT vehicle and multiple buildings across the street.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he’s “angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower.”
Officials negotiating with the suspect tried to assure him that he would not be harmed if he surrendered, to no avail.
“We’re just trying to do as much as we can to resolve this peacefully,” Ross said while trying to end the standoff.
BREAKING: At least 6 officers have been shot after police responded to a report of shots fired in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia. The situation is ongoing. pic.twitter.com/66XZOpaJhp
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 14, 2019
In another shocking twist, a local politician sat back and campaigned for donations to his political race, apparently using the shooting to raise money.
ACTIVE SHOOT-OUT IN PHILADELPHIA. At least t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ f̶i̶v̶e̶ six police officers shot so far.I'd be willing to lay…
“If you agree with me that the vastly increasing rate of gun violence should never be normalized, will you contribute to help Democrats flip the Virginia Legislature? For every dollar donated today up to $10,000, I will give $2 from my campaign to a Democratic candidate who supports universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.”
Using violence to fund your political agenda? Horrific.
Tragically, this is far from the first time we’ve seen bystanders root for suspects to kill the police.
Just a few months ago, when Sacramento Officer Tara O’Sullivan was viciously gunned down by a domestic abuse suspect, officers at the scene found themselves surrounded by neighbors celebrating the shooting.
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) June 20, 2019
People can be heard shouting “get your s&*( in order” and “get your lies together.” One woman repeatedly shouts “y’all all need to be shot!” and then repeats “y’all all need to be!” several times.
“Quite frankly, it’s disgusting,” said FOP Vice President Jay McDonald. “Officer O’Sullivan was still…had not gotten the medical attention that she needed and deserved. The law enforcement officers had to devote their attention and their resources to containing an unruly crowd, who was heckling and taunting them while one of their own lie mortally wounded.”
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Another woman called two male officers “cowards,” “bastards,” and “f*&^s.” Another woman shouted a threat that she would “whoop their little butts.” As officers placed crime scene tape around a perimeter, a woman verbally assaulted them, calling them “cowards” many times.
This is a sad state to be in. Our officers deserve better than this. We deserve better than this.