Six officers shot in Philadelphia siege

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 16 Aug 2019

Six police officers were shot and wounded in and around a house in the US city of Philadelphia during a seven-hour standoff that began when law enforcers tried to execute a narcotics warrant.

All of the officers were later released from hospital, but the city's police commissioner, Richard Ross, said that in 30 years he had never seen so many officers shot.

Two other officers who had been trapped for some hours in the house with the shooter, who had been firing out of a window, were finally freed later in the evening, Ross said.

The suspect was later taken into custody and SWAT personnel were checking the house. But people were still being warned to stay clear of the area.

"It is nothing short of astounding that in such a confined space we didn't have more of a tragedy," Ross said, explaining that the attempt to execute the narcotics warrant "went awry almost immediately."

Philadelphia's mayor, Jim Kenney, praised his city's police department for how the officers acted and then berated federal and state politicians for their lack of responses to gun violence.

He declared that politicians "don't want to do anything about getting guns off the street. Our officers deserve to be protected and don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited amount of bullets. It's disgusting. We need to do something about it."

Despite rampant gun violence in the United States, efforts to strengthen firearms regulations remain divisive in the country, where the National Rifle Association has the power to block legislation.

The Philadelphia incident follows two mass shootings in the United States this month - one in Dayton, Ohio and the other in El Paso, Texas - that left 31 people dead.

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