Philadelphia: Man in custody after six police officers shot

14 August 2019, 22:27 | Updated: 15 August 2019, 06:43

A man is in custody after six police officers were shot in Philadelphia, officials have said.

The suspect had been locked in a tense stand-off with police for eight hours.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said police had been carrying out a drugs raid and managed to enter the premises but it "went awry almost immediately".

He said that "gunfire erupted" and the gunman "fired multiple rounds".

Officers returned fire and attempted to escape to safety by diving through windows and doors.

He confirmed that six officers were injured, with one policeman wounded when a bullet grazed his head.

The officers were released from hospital later in the evening, with Mr Ross commenting: "It's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today."

Two other officers and three civilians, who had been trapped inside the building with the gunman, were rescued by a SWAT team.

The incident began at around 4.30pm local time (9.30pm GMT) on Wednesday.

Shortly after midnight, police managed to bring the man into custody following hours of negotiation. He had repeatedly fired out of a window at officers.

Before the suspect was apprehended, Mr Ross said: "We are trying to talk to this male and that he can end this peacefully."

He added that the gunman's lawyer had been brought on the phone to attempt to get the man to give himself up.

A significant police presence, with dozens of police cars and armed officers, had been on the scene.

The Health Sciences Center campus of Temple University was on lockdown for three hours, during which officials from the institute urged people to avoid the area.

Speaking after visiting the injured policemen in hospital, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said: "We've got to get these weapons out of people's hands.

"This government, both on a federal and states level, don't want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals."

A White House spokesperson said President Donald Trump was monitoring the situation in Philadelphia.