PHILADELPHIA — Police have been in an hourslong standoff with at least one barricaded suspect who they say shot six officers on Wednesday in a North Philadelphia neighborhood.
Two officers were trapped inside the row house, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. told reporters.
Sgt. Eric Gripp, a police spokesman, tweeted about five hours after the standoff began that SWAT had evacuated the officers. Gripp said the shooter was still barricaded inside.
.@PPDCommish Ross: the officers and additional prisoners that were inside of the house with the shooter were safely evacuated. The shooter remains armed inside
— Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) August 15, 2019
Negotiators were trying to communicate with the shooter, but the gunman only picks up the phone without answering, Ross said Wednesday night. “We are trying to get him to come out peacefully, but he is refusing to do so,” he said. “We do know he is still alive.”
Ross said the wounded officers’ injuries were non-life threatening. One had a graze wound to the head.
Officers were in the kitchen of the house when the shooter fired and police shot back. “Many of them had to escape through windows and doors,” he said. The shooter has continued to fire out of the windows, the commissioner said.
Police went to the home in the Nicetown-Tiago neighborhood around 4:30 p.m. ET with a narcotics warrant, Ross said.
Video from a news helicopter showed more than 50 police vehicles at the scene just after the shooting began.
Police reported sporadic gunfire into the evening.
Four women were escorted out of the building by Philadelphia police SWAT members, said Greg Argos, a reporter for KYW. The KYW reporter described the women as “visibly upset, crying, as they were escorted down the street.”
One woman said of the officers: “They kept us safe the whole time, the whole time, they kept us safe.”
At different times, Gripp asked media helicopters to clear the area and for people to not fly drones.
President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting, deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said.