Maurice Hill, 36, stands accused of shooting six Philadelphia police officers during a standoff that lasted more than seven hours. Hill eventually surrendered to officers by walking out of a home located on North 15 Street.
NBC Philadelphia reports that a member of the SWAT team shot tear gas into the home around midnight and that Hill surrendered shortly after and was taken into custody.
Authorities transported Hill to Temple University Hospital to be evaluated. He will most likely be charged with six counts of attempted murder as well as aggravated assault.
Shaka Johnson, Hill’s longtime attorney says that he spoke to his client by phone around 8:30 p.m. and that he wanted to “try to figure a way out.”
“He said he wouldn’t come out unless I was standing outside because he knows I wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him,” Johnson said.
Hill’s arrest ended a dramatic standoff, which resulted in six officers being shot and a seventh officer was injured in a crash. Three civilians and two police officers were trapped inside the house with Hill before they were safely evacuated around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
“SWAT was able to successfully extract the two police officers that were trapped upstairs, as well as three prisoners,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. “They were all taken out safely thus far.”
None of the six officers shot suffered life-threatening injuries, Ross said, adding that at least one officer suffered a graze wound to the head. All of the officers have been released from the hospital.
Hill was heavily armed with weapons including an AK-47. Gunfire initially erupted around 4:30 p.m. after narcotics officers attempted to serve a warrant to a house near the corner of North 15th and West Butler streets. Officers rushed upstairs and Hill was waiting downstairs with an AK-47 and fired several rounds through the ceiling. Several officers returned fire while escaping through windows.
A seventh police officer, who was responding to the scene was injured in a car accident at the nearby intersection of North Broad and West Cayuga streets. A pedestrian was also injured in the accident.
Neighbors told local media that they watched on in horror as violence consumed their neighborhood.
“It was like a war – like a scene that you see in war,” a resident said. “The guns, the fire, the noise – it was like bombs going off simultaneously at a time where people are having dinner.”
Officers were seen crouching behind cars, blocking off surrounding streets and surrounding several nearby homes as the firefight unfolded.
Precious Babies Learning Academy was placed on lockdown with at least 80 scared children huddled inside.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Donald Trump both said they were monitoring the developing situation.
“Tonight is another reminder of the selfless sacrifice of our law enforcement officers and first responders,” Wolf said. “We are praying for a peaceful resolution and the full recovery of all those injured. We must remain committed to combating violence and getting dangerous weapons out of our communities.”
On Wednesday, Wolf announced that he was postponing the signing of an executive order to reduce gun violence from Thursday to a later date that has not yet been determined.
During a late Wednesday evening press conference, Mayor Jim Kenney pleaded for gun control in the wake of the shooting.
“It’s aggravating. It’s saddening,” he said. “It’s just something we need to do something about. And if the state and federal government doesn’t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us police ourselves. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control legislation.”
Kenney added that the police officers deserve to be protected.
“They don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for four hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets,” he said. “It’s disgusting and we’ve got to do something about it. And we need to do something about it quickly.”