Authorities stand outside a house as they investigate an active shooting situation in the Nicetown neighbourhood of Philadelphia. Picture: Matt Rourke/AP/African News Agency (ANA)
Authorities stand outside a house as they investigate an active shooting situation in the Nicetown neighbourhood of Philadelphia. Picture: Matt Rourke/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Swat team rescues police trapped in Philadelphia shootout

By By Andrew Hay Time of article published Aug 15, 2019

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Philadelphia - A Swat team rescued two police officers

and three civilians trapped inside a Philadelphia house with an

active gunman after a shootout in which six officers were

wounded, police said on Wednesday.

The gunman remained barricaded inside the home, with police

urging him to surrender and media reporting he was armed with a

semi-automatic rifle similar to the popular AK-47 style and

several handguns.

Police moved in about five hours into the standoff that

began after the gunman opened fire on officers as they served a

drugs warrant inside the north Philadelphia home.

Swat officers used stealth to rescue the officers and three

suspects inside the house without the gunman knowing they had

entered the home, said Philadelphia Police Department

Commissioner Richard Ross.

"We've gone from a hostage situation to a barricade because

all the hostages were taken out safely," Ross told reporters.

He said it was "astounding" there had not been a greater

tragedy.

All six wounded officers were released from hospital on

Wednesday night, one officer surviving after a bullet grazed his

head and another after a bullet hit body armor on his back.

Picture: Matt Rourke/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

"Many of them had to escape through windows and doors to

escape from a barrage of bullets," Ross told a news conference.

The gunman fired on a Swat truck parked outside the

residence in the Nicetown-Tioga neighbourhood, with rounds

peppering buildings across the street as residents cowered

inside homes.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing police sources, identified

the suspected gunman as Maurice Hill, 36, a Philadelphia man

with a history of gun, drugs and assault convictions.

Attorney Shaka Mzee Johnson, who court documents show

recently represented Hill, did not respond immediately to a

request for comment.

Ross said the gunman stopped firing as night set in.

"We're optimistic that means that he's starting to

understand that there's some benefit of him coming out," Ross

said.

The incident followed a string of mass shootings in

California, Texas and Ohio in which gunmen used semi-automatic

rifles.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was angry the gunman

was able to amass such firepower.

"We've got to get these weapons out of people's hands,"

Kenney said after visiting wounded officers in hospital. "This

government, both on a federal and states level, don't want to do

anything about getting these guns off the streets and out of the

hands of criminals."

President Donald Trump was monitoring the situation in

Philadelphia, according to the White House. 

Reuters

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