PHOTOS: Philadelphia gunman identified after hourslong standoff

A police officer patrols the block near a house as they investigate an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Police urge people to leave the area as they investigate an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Police officers stand near the scene of a shooting Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Authorities stage as they respond to an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

An hours-long standoff where a gunman shot at police, wounding six of them, as he was barricaded inside a Philadelphia home somehow ended with no fatalities.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who spent hours Wednesday negotiating with the gunman through the phone, said the situation that unfolded “could have been far worse.”

READ MORE: Several police officers shot in Philadelphia

“This was a very dynamic situation, one that I hope we never see again,” he said Thursday outside the Philadelphia Police Department, which is in the process of investigating the scene.

The gunman eventually came out of the home early Thursday after police deployed tear gas in the building. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then placed into custody.

A law enforcement official identified the suspect as Maurice Hill. The official said the 36-year-old has a criminal record that includes firearms charges. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The standoff started around 4:30 p.m. as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighbourhood of brick and stone row homes to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation “that went awry almost immediately,” Ross said.

Many officers “had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.

The six officers who were struck by gunfire have been released from hospitals, said Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp.

Two other officers were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out but were freed by a SWAT team well after darkness fell on the residential neighbourhood.

Ross said the reason he made the unusual decision to be the person negotiating with Hill was because he was “so worried” about his officers stuck inside.

“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was 200 feet away,” he said Thursday.

Three people who officers had taken into custody in the house before the shooting started were also safely evacuated, police said.

Police implored the gunman to surrender, at one point patching in his lawyer on the phone with him to try to persuade him to give up, Ross said.

Authorities also held a press conference amidst the standoff in hopes that the gunman or someone he was communicating with may hear them. Ross said he was “very intentional and deliberate” with the words he used during the briefing since he was not sure if Hill knew there were two officers trapped upstairs.

Temple University locked down part of its campus, and several children and staff were trapped for some time in a nearby day care.

Police tried to push crowds of onlookers and residents back from the scene. In police radio broadcasts, officers could be heard calling for backup as reports of officers getting shot poured in.

“There was just a lot of screaming and chaos,” said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic.

Dozens of officers on foot lined the streets. Others were in cars and some on horses.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr were briefed on the shooting, officials said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was thankful that officers’ injuries weren’t life-threatening.

“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day,” Kenney said.

Associated Press writers Ron Todt in Philadelphia, Michael Balsamo in Washington, Caleb Jones in Honolulu and Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

Christina Paciolla And Claudia Lauer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

Clothing charity returns to Chilliwack to hand out free goods

Clothes2U will be back at local church to give away clothing, household items, more to those in need

First rainstorm of the season pelting the Lower Mainland

Batten down the hatches as heavy rains, wind, and some localized flooding possible

Atchelitz Threshermen’s big garage sale in Chilliwack goes ahead this weekend

The annual fundraiser for the association was delayed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Most Read