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Suspect Maurice Hill Surrendered; 6 Philly Officers Identified; Authorities React to Shootout
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/15/19 5:15 pm | updated: 08/15/19 5:15 pm
 
Gunfire erupted on Wednesday afternoon, 8/14, in North Philadelphia when Philadelphia Police officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant in the Tioga-Nicetown section leading to a 7-hour standoff. It started around 4:30 p.m. on the 3700 block of 15th Street near Erie. Officers were in the kitchen area in the rear of the building when the suspect, 36-year-old Maurice Hill, opened fire. Officers returned fire and escaped through windows and doors. Two police officers remained trapped in the building with three other residents, while Hill exchanged extensive fire with SWAT and police on the street. 9 officers were injured, 6 of whom were shot. Miraculously no one was killed and those shot suffered minor injuries. Those officers were treated at both Temple University Hospital and Einstein Medical Center and sent home. SWAT was able to evacuate the trapped officers and residents after 9 p.m. It was not until just after midnight that Hill walked out of the house and surrendered. Police used tear gas to force him to leave the building. He did have a weapon on him, but gave himself up peacefully.

Philadelphia Police officer shot and injured:
- Police Officer Joshua Burkitt, 26, a 2-year veteran assigned to the 24th District sustained a gunshot wound to the left hand
- Police Officer Michael Guinter, 32, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, sustained gunshot wounds to both arms
- Police Officer Shaun Parker, 32, an 11-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, sustained a graze wound to the head
- Police Officer Nathaniel Harper, 43, a 19-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, sustained a gunshot wound to the left leg
- Police Officer Ryan Waltman, 42, a 12-year veteran assigned to the 39th District sustained a gunshot wound to the right hand
- Police Officer Justin Matthews, 31, a 3-year veteran assigned to the 16th District, sustained a graze wound to the left leg

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told reporters that defense lawyer Shaka Johnson called him last night around 9 p.m. and told the DA that his client, Hill, was the shooter and wanted to talk. "Mr. Johnson patched me in and we both spoke to Maurice Hill who at that time, in my opinion, was in a very animated, excited, frankly dangerous state," Krasner said. He also said that at one point Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross joined in on a call with Krasner, Johnson, and Hill. Hill was concerned that if he walked outside, he would be harmed or killed. Eventually Ross, Krasner, and Johnson were on the scene in Nicetown. Ross spoke over the bullhorn in the hope of facilitating negotiations. Krasner did not take any credit for the peaceful surrender, calling it "brilliant policing and maybe a little bit of a miracle."

Hill has an extensive criminal record going back to 2001 with violent charges and convictions related to guns, drugs, robbery, perjury, escape, and more. "I think it's clear this man should not have been on the streets in the sense that he was obviously a tremendous danger to the public and to law enforcement," Krasner said. No charges have been filed yet but he will likely face attempted murder and aggravated assault among many others. Police are still on location in North Philly processing the scene on the street, towing away bullet ridden cars and marking sidewalks. They were not able to get into the house to take inventory of Hill's arsenal due to lingering tear gas.

Federal, state, and local leaders spoke at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, 8/15. District Attorney Larry Krasner, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrel Clarke, and Councilperson Cindy Bass all praised the bravery and training of the Philadelphia Police officers and echoed the need to get illegal guns off the streets of the city. Senator Bob Casey praised the "valor, professionalism, and skill" of law enforcement. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said that he will announce executive orders at a press conference on Friday morning aimed at getting guns out of the hands of criminals. He also urged the General Assemble to act. State Senator Sharif Street spoke energetically about various bills and legislation that have been introduced to deal with guns but have not been brought to a vote.

*Questions that will be brought up following this incident will be: How did Hill, a convicted felon, accumulate so many firearms and ammo? Where/who did he get them from? Was there a straw purchase made somewhere down the line? Before trying to pass new legislation, what current legislation can be enforced? The Brad Fox Law was signed in 2012. It brought harsher penalties and mandatory minimums for anyone caught making straw purchases of firearms for prohibited persons.

*editorial



Video: Eric Garrity

 
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