Three SWAT officers were shot around 6 a.m. ET Wednesday as they tried to serve a warrant to a homicide suspect who was fatally wounded during a gunfight with cops, Philadelphia Police officials said.
After knocking on a door, the SWAT team was “immediately met by gunfire,” First Deputy Police Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference.
After the initial round of shots, the male suspect, who was accused of homicide and armed robbery, tried to flee through the back of the house, where he got in a gun battle with officers positioned there, Stanford added.
The man died at a hospital from his gunshot wounds.
The three wounded officers are expected to recover, police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw said. She said the officers returned fire even after being shot.
A neighbor told CNN affiliate KYW she feels like she is in a war zone.
“It’s just crazy. They don’t care anymore, that’s the only thing that’s bothering me,” Elaine Fowler, who lives nearby, told the station. “How people don’t care about people anymore about nothing – the old, young, babies – they don’t care. That’s what’s bothering me.”
The shooting highlights the type of violence law enforcement is subject to, the commissioner said.
“While our SWAT officers are highly trained professionals, this is yet again another cold reminder of the dangers involved in the work they do,” Outlaw said. “Warrant service is always a high-risk assignment; particularly when the suspect is wanted in connection to violent crime.”
Regardless of the danger officers face, Outlaw said she and her team remain fearless.
“I can promise you this: Our officers will not be intimidated, and we will continue to do everything we can to make Philadelphia a safer place to live,” she said.
District Attorney Larry Krasner tweeted the suspect was allegedly responsible for the killing of a man in his car in August. He said the victim of that shooting has connections to the suspect’s family.
In a tweet, Mayor Jim Kenney said he’s “grateful” that the “SWAT officers are okay.”
“Our officers put themselves in harm’s way every day. Thank you for your service and for helping to keep residents safe,” he said in another tweet.
At least two of the officers have been released from a hospital, while one remains under observation, Stanford said. All three are department veterans, with two serving for more than 25 years.
“To be quite blunt about it, we are very lucky to still have those officers with us. This is not what, you know, officers sign up for,” he said.