Officers Injured During Philadelphia Standoff Near Temple University
|thenorthstar||Aug 15, 2019|
Temple University Health Sciences Center Campus was placed on lock-down after an armed suspect who is accused of wounding six police officers in North Philadelphia surrendered after a seven-hour standoff with police.
The suspect, who has been identified as Maurice Hill, 34, surrendered peacefully with police at midnight, seven hours after the shooting began. He was taken to the hospital for treatment because police had used tear gas on him. Temple University tweeted that those near the Health Sciences Center Campus should “Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still” during the shooting.
Hill reportedly barricaded himself inside a building on 15th street on August 14. The shootout began around 4:30 p.m. when officers entered the building with a search warrant and Hill reportedly shot at them. The university lifted the lock-down at 7:04 pm.
“This was a narcotics warrant that went awry almost immediately, and the officers came under fire," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr. said during a press conference.
Two officers inside of the building were trapped when the standoff started until they were freed by SWAT officers hours later, Ross said during the early press conference on August 15. During the press conference, Ross revealed that Hill had prior arrests but did not go into detail about them and did not discuss the charges.
President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that the shooter had a “long and very dangerous criminal record.”
“The Philadelphia shooter should never have been allowed to be on the streets. He had a long and very dangerous criminal record. Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!” he tweeted.
Police did not say what weapons Hill had on him, but Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Hill "was able to get these weapons, and a large magazine, a large amount of bullets."
Sergeant Eric Gripp of the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted that all six officers who were shot were released from the hospital and at least one officer is being admitted for injuries sustained in a vehicle crash related to the incident.
Gripp explained that he was “honored” to serve in the department alongside other officers and first responders.
“6 officers shot — several more injured. A neighborhood terrified, and many lives forever changed. It seems strange to look back at yesterday as a ‘good’ day, but yet, here I am. I am honored to serve with my co-workers and fellow first responders. Thank you, everyone, for the support.”
Hill’s attorney, Shaka Johnson, said during an interview with NBC News that his client called him during the standoff and said that he "wanted to try to figure out a way out without any further violence coming to anyone or himself." Johnson entered the home wearing body armor with officers, asking Hill to surrender.
"I just kept the conversation as light-hearted as it could be under the circumstances, and when appropriate I switched back to: ‘You’ve got to come out, man, and you have to put your phone down. You can’t come out with any weapons, you’ve got to put your hands up,’” Johnson told the news station.
Mayor Kenney thanked the officers in a tweet. A press conference with more information about the incident was held August 15.
“Grateful for our @PhillyPolice and emergency responders every day — and that’s especially true this morning. We witnessed their incredible dedication and expertise in real-time last night,” Kenney tweeted. “Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support for our officers and residents.”
The recent standoff comes just a few weeks after two back-to-back mass shootings that rocked the US. The first shooting occurred on August 3, when a gunman entered a Walmart in El Paso Texas and killed 22 people and injured two dozen others. The suspected shooter, who has been identified as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Dallas, is a white supremacist who had been targeting Latinos during the shooting.
He was arrested after approaching police officers unarmed and has been charged with capital murder..
In less than 24 hours, another shooting took place on August 4 in Dayton, Ohio outside of Ned Peppers Bar. Connor Betts, 24, reportedly killed nine people including his 22-year-old sister, Megan Betts, and injured 27 others. It is unclear what the shooter’s motive was.
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.