Video has emerged of a crowd taunting and throwing things at police throughout an eight-hour standoff where six officers were shot and two others were held hostage on Wednesday in Philadelphia, prompting President Donald Trump to declare the suspected shooter with an ‘extensive rap sheet’ should ‘never been allowed on the streets.’
Maurice Hill, 36, was taken into custody by a SWAT team, emerging with his hands in the air after the authorities shot tear gas into the home where the gunshots were coming from, police source Eric Gripp said.
Harrowing footage of the onslaught of AK-47 gunfire was captured by home surveillance camera across the street from the assault, as police also endure abuse from the bystanders who cheered on the suspect.
On Thursday morning, Trump tweeted: ‘The Philadelphia shooter should never have been allowed to be on the streets. He had a long and very dangerous criminal record. Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police. Long sentence – must get much tougher on street crime!’
Shocking video and photos show crowds of taunting cops and throwing projectiles at them as they were responding to the shooter.
One shows the people gathered outside a Philadelphia home as they battled the AK-47 wielding gunman
‘A major moment of disappointment this evening was watching a crowd of people taunt police officers, laughing and yelling at them in the midst of the gunfire,’ tweeted CBS3 reporter Alexandria Hoff early Thursday morning.
The man was taken into custody by a SWAT team who shot tear gas into the home, a police source, Eric Gripp, also said this morning.
The gunman who was identified by media as Maurice Hill, 36, was taken into custody after he walked out of the home with his hands in the air.
According to CBS 3, Hill, who has a lengthy history of gun convictions, was not injured during the standoff. Hill’s lawyer Shaka Johnson said the suspect called him around 8.30pm.
‘Maurice called me in a panic, obviously. He did not want this to end violently and he really was sort of taking an opportunity to speak his peace. I told him “You gotta surrender, man,”‘ Johnson told the news station.
Authorities said the shooting began around 4.30pm as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighborhood to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation ‘that went awry almost immediately’, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Ross said many officers ‘had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets’.
‘It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today,’ Ross said.
The six officers who were struck by gunfire have been released from hospitals, Gripp said. Two other officers who were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out were freed by a SWAT team shortly after 9.30pm.
About 30 minutes later, three people that officers had taken into custody in the house before the shooting started were also safely evacuated.
The situation unfolded around 4.30pm along the 3700 block of North 15th Street on Wednesday afternoon. Police said a male suspect began shooting from a home in the area.
‘I was just coming off the train and I was walking upstairs and there were people running back downstairs who said that there was someone up there shooting cops,’ said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic. ‘There was just a lot of screaming and chaos.’
One of the six injured officers, a father-of-two, suffered a graze wound to the head. Two other officers were also injured in a car accident while responding to the shooting. All of the officers were either transported to Temple University Hospital or Einstein Medical Center.
Local reports described ‘rapid fire’ that took place almost every 30-40 minutes.
Authorities initially took one suspect into custody after he was arrested inside the same residence while officers executed a warrant as part of a narcotics investigation.
When officers tried to issue the warrant, a couple of cops ran upstairs but didn’t realize the gunman was waiting downstairs.
The gunman reportedly fired an AK-47 through the ceiling, prompting the officers to fire back. The shooter was moving up and down the interior stairs in the building, shooting into the ceiling and outside the home.
‘Many of them had to escape through windows and doors to escape from a barrage of bullets,’ Commissioner Ross said during an initial news conference Wednesday evening.
Two officers became trapped inside the home as the shooter continued to fire. They were held hostage for five hours before being rescued.
At the time of negotiations, Ross said the officers were ‘trying to get him [gunman] to come out peacefully, but he is refusing to do so’.
Police called the man’s phone, talked with him on a bullhorn and involved a family member in the negotiations, Ross said, adding that ‘we are doing everything in our power to get him to come out’.
‘There’s no indication that he’s trying to surrender,’ Ross said Wednesday evening.
Between 6.20pm and 7.15pm no other shots were heard in the area. By 7.30pm another round of shots were fired. The standoff ended up stretching into nearly eight hours.
‘Officers are attempting to communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries,’ Sgt Eric Gripp tweeted Wednesday evening. ‘Suspect is still firing at officers. STAY AWAY FROM THE AREA,’ Gripp added at the time.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said numerous agents assisted Philadelphia police during the situation.
To make matters even more difficult for officers, darkness fell and forecasters issued a flash flood warning for the area around 9pm. Thunderstorms moved through Philadelphia until at least 11pm.
Mayor Jim Kenney and District Attorney Larry Krasner arrived at Temple hospital shortly after the injured officers were transported there.
During Wednesday evening’s press conference, Kenney spoke to reporters and said: ‘I’m a little bit angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day.’
Kenney said he was able to speak to the injured officers and said they ‘are in good spirits’.
‘Our concern right now is for them and their families’.
Hogan Gidley, the principal deputy White House press secretary, told the DailyMail.com that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting and continued to monitor the situation.
Pennsylvania Gov Tom Wolf and Attorney General William Barr were also briefed on the standoff.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted about the incident Wednesday evening.
‘@DrBiden and I send our prayers to the police officers injured today in Philadelphia, and to their families who wake up every day knowing that their loved ones are walking into harm’s way when they put on the badge.
‘We’re grateful for the selfless work they do to keep us safe,’ he added.
The Philadelphia Phillies tweeted: ‘Our thoughts are with the members of @PhillyPolice injured today and everyone working to resolve the situation currently happening in North Philadelphia.’
During the active shooter situation, footage from ABC6 showed officers lining the street and surrounding a building with their guns drawn as the gunman fired shots at police.
Officers could be seen crouching behind police vehicles on the blocked off street. Multiple officers took cover alongside a building as the gunman continued to fire at them.
Authorities evacuated people from their homes and nearby businesses as they attempted to take control over the situation.
Several day cares and churches are in the immediate area. There were no reports of civilians being injured by gunfire.
About 80 children were inside nearby daycare, Precious Babies Learning Academy, but they were safely evacuated from the center at 7.20pm.
Police officers were seen holding the children’s hands and carrying some of the smaller children.
The children’s ages range from 6 weeks old to 10 years old.
Around 6.30pm Temple University tweeted that a lockdown ‘is in effect for Health Sciences Center Campus’.
‘Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still. Police are responding,’ the tweet read.
That lockdown was lifted about an hour later, according to the university.
The incident follows a string of mass shootings in California, Texas and Ohio in which gunmen used semi-automatic rifles.