Reportedly, six officers have been shot in an ongoing mass incident in Philadelphia this evening. As of the writing of this piece, a gunman is still engaging in a standoff with police and details are emerging.
According to ABC News’ Emily Shapiro, the suspect is currently barricaded inside of a building in the North Philadelphia neighborhood known as Tioga-Nicetown. Footage shows SWAT on the scene and officers taking cover behind parked vehicle on city streets.
Shooting situation ACTIVE and ONGOING on 3700 15th St. Avoid Area. Several PPD Officers have been injured. Updates will be provided as received
— Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) August 14, 2019
The New York Times’ Neil Vigdor and Mihir Zaveri report that the gunman is holed up in a residential home. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also on the scene with police.
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
An unidentified woman reported to WPVI “I heard so many gunshots… I’m scared.”
Shapiro reports that more than 100 rounds have been fired at police with several being struck.
We’re told that one officer was struck in the head, but police said he was conscious and communicating.
The second officer was hit in one or both arms, and a third officer was shot, possibly in the arm.
A total of three officers were taken to Temple University Hospital, and another was being treated at Einstein Medical Center.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., a fifth officer was shot – but police said the injury was minor.
Just before 6:20 p.m., police confirmed that six officers had been shot, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, they said.
Other officers sustained non-shooting injuries.
An additional officer has reportedly been injured in an automobile accident related to this incident.
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
The nearby campus of Temple University has released several tweets stating “TU Alert: Shots fired reported at 1500 Block Erie Av at Health Sciences Center Campus. Use caution. Avoid the area. Police are responding.”
TU Alert: Shots fired reported at 1500 Block Erie Av at Health Sciences Center Campus. Use caution. Avoid the area. Police are responding.
— Temple University (@TempleUniv) August 14, 2019
An additional tweet then advised “Lockdown is in effect for Health Sciences Center Campus. Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still. Police are responding.”
We’re now receiving word that at least one suspect has been arrested.
#BREAKING Update in active shooter situation in Tioga-Nicetown, Philadelphia : Video of a suspect under arrest. At least 1 suspect still outstanding. This is still an Active Situation. #Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/bXKD2InKUt
— Shark NewsWires (@SharkNewsWires) August 14, 2019
Philadelphia’s Police Sergeant Eric Gripp is cautioning residents to avoid the area saying “Shooting situation ACTIVE and ONGOING on 3700 15th St. Avoid Area. Several PPD Officers have been injured. Updates will be provided as received”
We’re also learning that media outlets have been reporting the tactical positions of police officers, adding to the threat.
MSNBC appears to be showing some of the tactical positions of police officers that are positioned near the house where the police officers have been shot in Philadelphia
Law enforcement has asked that news organizations not do this because it puts officers' lives at risk
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 14, 2019
Update: I’m on the scene now. 6th Officer has been injured. News crews are working together and moving our choppers from the scene as to not give the shooter(s) an opportunity to know where tactical units are positioned. Frequent gunshots continue. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/eU969d0WfE
— Alexandria Hoff (@AlexandriaHoff) August 14, 2019
Today’s shooting comes less than two months after another mass incident in the City of Brotherly Love. in June. A gunman opened fire at a graduation party which had more than 60 attendees. The gunman succeeded in killing one 24 year old and injuring four teens between the ages of 15 and 17, according to NBC News’ Alex Johnson and Rachel Elbaum.
The June event, which should have been a celebration, was a deadly occurred near two playgrounds in a southwestern neighborhood of the city.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross says “These are the things that absolutely drive us [police] crazy… If you only continue to ask us, we’re never going to solve this issue. What you’ve got to get at is the hearts and minds of people who want to pull out a gun and fire at a group of 60 people… That’s something that’s even more troubling — that you could do that realizing the carnage that you could cause”
Johnson and Elbaum further report that Philadelphia police had increased patrols in response to the shooting, however, the incident was only one of many that weekend. A staggering 27 people were killed or injured by gunfire just in that weekend.
According to PhillyPolice.com, the number of homicides in the city is up 4% and the Philadelphia police website is reporting that as of yesterday, there were 203 homicides year to date. NBC’s Rudy Chinchilla reports that while homicides in the city are up, overall instances of violent crime have decreased over past years.