Philadelphia, PA – A Philadelphia police officer was shot while trying to apprehend a murder suspect who allegedly attempted to take an officer’s weapon during a confrontation in the crawl space of a home on Wednesday night, according to investigators.
The series of events leading up to the shooting began shortly before 7:30 p.m. on May 31, when the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) received reports of gunfire in the 2800-block of Ruth Street, WPVI reported.
When officers arrived at the scene, they spotted a trail of spent shell casings that led to a nearby house, according to investigators.
Police approached the door and said they heard commotion coming from inside the home, WPVI reported.
Other people began running out of the house and told officers a man had gone inside, according to WTXF.
Police entered the residence and subsequently located a suspect hiding in the basement crawl space.
“The officers gave several orders for that male to leave from the crawl space and that person continued to refuse the officers’ orders,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, according to WPVI. “The officers then struggled with the male in an attempt to get him to leave the crawl space.”
An officer deployed a Taser in an attempt to subdue the suspect, but Commissioner Outlaw said it was not effective.
She said the suspect then tried to disarm the officer of the Taser, at which point a shot was fired, WPVI reported.
The bullet hit an officer in the hand.
BREAKING: @PhillyPolice officer shot along 2800 block of Ruth Street in Kensington where a suspect is reportedly barricaded inside a home. Sources say the officer was shot in the hand and taken to @TempleHospMed. pic.twitter.com/FZDwDQ9RpY
— Alicia Roberts (@ARobertsCBS) June 1, 2023
Commissioner Outlaw said investigators are still working to determine who fired the shot, WPVI reported.
Police have also not confirmed whether the suspect was armed, but said they did later recover a gun from the area where the shooting occurred, according to WTXF.
According to Commissioner Outlaw, additional officers at the scene heard the gunshot and saw an officer falling to the ground, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Three officers then fired at the suspect, hitting him at least once.
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) May 31, 2023
Commissioner Outlaw said a SWAT team entered the building a short while later and found the suspect dead in the crawlspace, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
His identity was not immediately released, but sources said he was wanted for murder, according to WPVI.
The wounded 27-year-old officer was transported to Temple Hospital in stable condition and has since been released to continue his recovery at home, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
🚨 OFFICER DOWN: Please pray for the Philadelphia Police Officer who was shot last night during a struggle with a man inside a residence.
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) June 1, 2023
He has been on the job for approximately one year and is assigned to the 24th District.