Three police officers shot after 12-year-old calls 911 to report father shooting his uncle

The gunman was fatally shot by police during the confrontation in Philadelphia

Andrea Blanco
Thursday 05 October 2023 22:58 BST
Update provided after 3 officers shot in Northeast Philadelphia

Three Philadelphia police officers were struck by gunfire during a deadly shootout that left the suspected gunman dead.

A 12-year-old boy first alerted authorities of a domestic dispute on Wednesday night after his 42-year-old father opened fire inside their home.

The gunman, whose mental health history was known to local authorities, shot at the officers when they arrived at the home on the 7500 block of Whitaker Avenue in the Rhawnhurst neighbourhood, FOX 29 reports. The man was then fatally shot by law enforcement.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford told reporters during a press conference that the teen was playing video games when an argument unfolded between his father and his uncle. After the teen and his uncle realised that the suspect had a weapon on him, they tried to run upstairs.

The gunman reportedly followed them and shot at the other adult, who was injured and remains in critical condition. The man then waited for officers outside his home after his minor son placed a 911 call, police said.

“It’s not normal [for officers to be struck by] gunfire upon arriving on a location,” Mr Stanford said. “When officers arrived, he began to immediately fire upon our officers, striking two officers and one sergeant ... Just a tragic situation all the way around.”

The officers were transported to the hospital and are in stable condition. Two of the officers have already been discharged, according to NBC 10.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro both issued statements thanking law enforcement for their quick response.

“[I’m relieved the @PhillyPolice officers shot in the line of duty tonight are stable, with loved ones, and on the path to recovery,” Gov Shapiro tweeted. “Again, we’re reminded of law enforcement’s bravery as they run towards danger. We are safer for your service — and we are grateful.”

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting is underway.

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