SWAT is still clearing the row house where police say an armed man was barricaded hours after he shot six officers Wednesday.
Before the standoff ended, negotiators had been trying to communicate with the shooter, but the gunman was only picking up the phone without answering, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said at one news conference.
Two officers who had been trapped inside the row house were evacuated by a SWAT team a few hours before the standoff ended.
How it started
The shooting began when authorities attempted to serve a warrant at about 4:30 p.m. ET in the Nicetown-Tiago neighborhood, in the 3700 block of North 15th Street, Ross told reporters during a news briefing Wednesday night.
“This was a narcotics warrant that went awry almost immediately,” Ross said.
Where it’s happening
Officers were in different parts of the house when the shooting began, Ross said, adding that’s how two officers and three others got trapped in the house.
All five were evacuated by SWAT officers after nightfall, Ross said.
SWAT officers used “stealth to do it,” and it’s believed they did it without the shooter knowing they were in the house, Ross said.
“We’ve gone from a hostage situation to a barricade because all of the hostages were taken out safely, ” he said.
The shooter has been firing intermittently at police since the standoff began.
Authorities have not identified the suspect, saying only that he’s male.
After hours of ignoring efforts by police to communicate, the man’s attorney and Ross got on a call with him to try to assure him police were not going to harm him.
“We don’t know if he’s injured. In my conversation with him, it doesn’t appear that he is,” Ross said. “But I’m not sure.”
The suspect also appears to have stopped firing at police.
“We’re optimistic that means that he’s starting to understand that there’s some benefit of him coming out and surrendering,” Ross said.
The wounded officers
Six police officers have been shot, the police commissioner said.
A bullet grazed one officer in the head, Ross said. None of the officers have life-threatening injuries and “everybody is going to be okay,” he said.
The officers, who were not immediately identified, were taken to two area hospitals and later released, Ross said.
Mayor Jim Kenney said he spoke with the officers.
“I had the opportunity to speak to the six officers, they’re all in good spirits and obviously it was a very traumatic experience for them,” he said. “I was talking to one of the officers who had the graze wound to the head and he had two little boys — they looked like they were 9 or 10 years old, 8 or 9 years old — and kept on thinking about how their lives would have changed with just a little more difference in space.”
Kenney said the immediate concern was for the officers and their families. But once the shooting is over and the officers have been cared for, he said there will be questions about someone “having all that weaponry and all that firepower.”
A day care center and a learning center near the house were evacuated, police said.
Nearby streets were being evacuated, police said.
Temple University lifted a hourslong lockdown on its Health Sciences Center, a few blocks from the standoff. A police spokesman initially said the center was two miles from the shooting scene.
What people are saying
Philadelphia’s mayor called for more gun control, saying the city’s police officers need help keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals.
“And if the state and federal government don’t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us, let us police ourselves. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control legislation,” Kenney said. “Our officers deserve to be protected and don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets.”
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting and is monitoring the situation, according to the White House.
Democratic presidential contenders also were monitoring the shooting.
In a tweet, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife “send our prayers to the police officers injured today in Philadelphia, and to their families who wake up every day knowing their loved ones are walking into harm’s way when they put on a badge.”
Beto O’Rourke said the shooting was “a reminder of what police officers across America risk to serve their communities each day.”
“Thinking of Philadelphia, and everyone impacted by this gun violence epidemic we need to end,” he said on Twitter.
The Philadelphia Phillies tweeted a message of support to the police department.
CNNs Laura Ly, Steve Almasy, Dave Alsup, Mark Morales and Chris Boyette contributed to this report.