UPDATED: 7:30 p.m. EDT — Updates from the Philadelphia Police Department announced that a mass shooting “suspect is still firing at officers” as they were “attempting to communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries.” That seemed to indicate there was just one shooter. Earlier reports said police believed there were more.
Shooting broke out in the North Philadelphia neighborhood of Tioga-Nicetown earlier in the afternoon when police tried to serve a warrant at a home there. At least six officers were shot, though it was reported that none of them had life-threatening injuries.
At least six police officers were shot in North Philadelphia late Wednesday afternoon in what appeared to be the nation’s most recent mass shooting. Video footage and photos flooded social media and showed officers arresting a man, though it was not clear what role that person may have played in the shooting in the Tioga-Nicetown neighborhood of the city.
The standoff between police and the unidentified shooter(s) was still ongoing as of about 6:50 p.m. EDT after reportedly starting more than an hour earlier.
While details were still scarce, reports across social media suggested that the shooting started after officers went to serve a warrant to a home in North Philadelphia.
“Police Commissioner Richard Ross said two officers remain trapped inside the house in the 3700 block of North 15th Street where the shootout first erupted at 4:30 p.m.,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Police said at least one of the suspects was live-streaming the shooting on Facebook from inside the home where the warrant was being served.
“Narcotics officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant at the house when shots were fired,” the Inquirer wrote. “Two Narcotics Strike Force bicycle officers were pinned down on the second floor with two other people who were handcuffed, police said. They were not hurt but were at risk of getting shot because a suspect on the first floor was firing into the ceiling.”
Police said they at first thought there was just one shooter but later determined there to be at least two.
The shooting also prompted Temple University, whose hospital several officers were taken to, to place its campus on lockdown.
“One officer was struck in the head but was conscious and communicating,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. “The second officer was hit in one or both arms. A third officer was shot, possibly in the arm. A fourth officer also was shot.”
The Inquirer reported at least five cops were shot, but a sergeant with the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted that number had increased to at least six, saying that the shooting was still happening.
One woman told a local reporter that she thought she heard more than 100 shots during the shooting.
Video taken at and near the scene showed dozens and dozens of police officers responding.
“Shots were still being fired from inside the house and one gunman was possibly was armed with a rifle,” the Inquirer reported around 5:30 p.m. EDT. “Residents were being evacuated from nearby streets.”
There was no information immediately available about the suspect who was arrested, but there were reports on social media about some of the cops who were shot and the nature of their injuries.
“All officers’ injuries are considered non-life-threatening,” the Associated Press reported.
One Twitter account tweeted a description of the Nicetown neighborhood as being the opposite of its name.
According to statistics, the Nicetown neighborhood is more than 90 percent Black.
It’s been a violent summer in Philadelphia, where multiple people were shot over the weekend in the city’s Southwest section. One weekend in June saw 19 shootings and 28 victims with five people dying as a result. Prior to Wednesday’s shooting, the Philly Voice reported that there had been at least six mass shootings in the city in 2019.
The shooting on Wednesday came more than a week after a pair of mass shootings took place on consecutive days in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Those two shootings were being treated as cases of domestic terrorism.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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