Philadelphia Standoff Ends With No Loss of Life, Suspect in Custody

 

A dramatic seven-hour gun battle that left six Philadelphia police officers wounded came to an end shortly after midnight when the suspect surrendered to police with no loss of life.

The suspect, identified as Maurice Hill, 36, of Philadelphia, has a long record of gun convictions and resisting arrest the Associated Press reported. He was taken into custody sometime after midnight, after police used tear gas to drive him from the home where he had taken refuge and fired on officers.

The incident began when officers went to the home in north Philadelphia neighborhood to serve drug arrest warrants when the gunman opened fire. Two officers who had already taken two prisoners into custody, were trapped inside the home while other officers had to scramble for safety. A large police presence responded to the scene with hundreds of officers arriving in the Nicetown neighborhood around 4 p.m. Officers took cover behind cars and blocked off the neighborhood, warning the public to stay away from the "active and ongoing" scene. At one point, an armored police vehicle known as a BearCat arrived to help move some of the cars away from the scene.

One witness told WPVI that she heard over 100 gunshots as the officers exchange fire with the suspect.

A SWAT team was able to get inside the home and extract the two officers trapped inside the home with the gunman. Police believe the suspect was unaware of their operation to free their officers.

Nearly eight-hours later, the suspect was taken into custody and SWAT officers were able to clear the house, police spokesman Sgt. Eric Gripp tweeted.

Police commissioner Richard Ross said the end goal was the "preservation of life."

"This was a narcotics warrant that went awry almost immediately, and the officers came under fire," Ross said.

At one point Ross even negotiated with the suspect personally.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today," Ross told reporters Wednesday night.

All six officers who had been wounded in the exchange had been released from the hospital by late Wednesday night. One officer suffered a graze to the forehead and could have been killed, but he is expected to fully recover.

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