A suspected gunman, who allegedly shot six police officers with an AK-47 and held two others hostage, has surrendered after a seven-hour standoff with authorities.
The incident occurred at a home in the Nicetown-Tioga area of Philadelphia at around 4.30pm local time on Wednesday night, August 15. The gunman, whose identity and has not yet been confirmed by police, eventually walked out of the house with his hands in the air shortly after midnight.
Six police officers were shot during the standoff and were rushed to hospital. Two officers and three other people were said to be trapped inside the home, though they were safely evacuated a few hours after the incident began.
All six police offices were released from hospital on Wednesday night.
The incident is believed to have started as police served a narcotics warrant at the property, when the suspect began shooting. It is currently unclear whether the gunman was the target of the warrant.
According to police, officers escaped through the windows and doors, while Police Commissioner Richard Ross said it was a miracle officers weren’t killed during the shootout.
According to CBS3, the suspect rang their lawyer from the scene while they were barricaded inside the house.
Lawyer, Shaka Johnson, said the suspect was ‘in a panic’, adding: ‘He did not want this to end violently and he really was sort of taking an opportunity to speak his peace. I told him ‘You gotta surrender, man.’
Let’s be clear, the police did an awesome job today. They were very patient, this had been going on for hours. Commissioner Ross could have pushed a button long before he did, quite frankly. So I want to give credit to the police for having some sort of patience with all of this… This could have gone very badly earlier in the day.
According to reports, two police officers were trapped on the second floor of the building with three other hostages, while the suspected gunman remained on the first floor.
In addition, two women and two children who were inside the building at the time were escorted away from the building by a SWAT team.
Footage from the scene showed a suspect being taken into custody, though it was not clear what their role in the incident was.
Large parts of the city were shut down due to the incident, with Temple University issuing a lockdown, children from nearby day care centres being relocated, and police closing a number of roads.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.