Suspect dead after shooting three officers in Philadelphia

A police shootout left a suspect dead after he waited for police at his front door with a gun after a family argument that escalated

Amelia Neath
Thursday 05 October 2023 16:20 BST
3 officers shot, suspect dead after incident in Northeast Philadelphia: police

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


A fight that broke out between a family on Wednesday night escalated into a police shootout which killed a man after he fired at the officers.

The incident started just after 7pm at a family home in the 7500 block of Whitaker Avenue in the Rhawnhurst neighbourhood in Philadelphia.

A 12-year-old boy was playing a video game when an alleged argument broke out between the boy’s uncle and his father, 42, which escalated to at least one shot being fired in the home, Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford said at a media conference late on Wednesday night.

The argument may have possibly started first between a prior dispute between the boy and his father over the volume of his video game, who then fired an alleged initial shot that made the 12-year-old and the uncle flee upstairs, Mr Stanford said.

The apparent next shot allegedly came from the boy’s father at the uncle as he and the boy were running upstairs to call 911, Mr Stanford said.

Police are unclear as to how many shots were fired inside the home.

"Unknown if doer still on location. Juvenile stated his dad shot his uncle two times," an emergency dispatcher was heard saying over the radio, according to ABC News.

The father then is alleged to have staked out at the front of the home at the doorway to wait for the officers to arrive.

"When officers arrived, he began to immediately fire upon our officers, striking two officers and one sergeant," Mr Stanford said. Two officers were injured.

The suspect was killed by officers after he opened fired on the police
The suspect was killed by officers after he opened fired on the police (ABC)

In retaliation, officers fired back and killed the father. It is not clear how many shots were fired or what type of firearm the suspect had.

"It’s not normal to (take) gunfire upon arriving on a location," Mr Stanford said. "Just a tragic situation all the way around.”

Police were dispatched to the scene and various evidence markers were set out along the street, according to footage captured by NBC’s Skyforce 10 camera.

“I thank [the officers] for their bravery and their desire to do this,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters.

The three officers were taken to the nearby hospital and were deemed stable, whereas the uncle who was shot earlier was also taken into Abington Hospital, but remains in a critical condition.

Mr Stanford said he feels for the young boy, as he notes the “trauma” that children in Philadephia have to live through due to the volume of state crime.

“What a tragic situation that that young man is going to have to deal with as he moves forward and he grows older,” he said.

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