More than three hours after at least six Philadelphia police officers were shot, a standoff continues in North Philadelphia Wednesday night.
The shooting, in the city’s Nicetown-Tioga section, has prompted a massive response to the largely residential North Philadelphia neighborhood.
As of 8 p.m. EST, two officers remained trapped inside a home where an ongoing shootout stretched towards a forth hour. Officials have been attempting to communicate with the gunman and “imploring him to surrender,” police said.
“We have a very volatile situation unfolding,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said, referring to the trapped officers as “hostages.”
“There is no indication [the gunman] is trying to surrender,” he added.
At around 4:30 p.m. local time, gunfire erupted after narcotics officers served a warrant to a house near the corner of North 15th and West Butler streets, according to officials.
Officers rushed upstairs where a gunman waited downstairs with an AK-47 and began firing several rounds through the ceiling. Police returned fire while several officers escaped through windows and doors. An hours-long standoff ensued.
“I’m a little angry about someone having … that much firepower,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said outside a hospital where officers were being treated for their injuries.
One officer had a gunshot wound grazing his head, but all six officers who were shot have non-life-threatening injuries and “everybody is going to be okay,” he said.
At least one suspect was taken into custody shortly after the firefight started, according to police. However, officers continue to battle with a second gunman, who remains barricaded inside a home as of 8 p.m.
“He continues to fire rounds out of the window … so this situation is in no way resolved,” Ross said. “He can end this peacefully.”
Neighbors said they watched in terror as the violent scene unfolded on their block.
“It was like a war – like a scene that you see in war,” a resident told NBC10. “The guns, the fire, the noise – it was like bombs going off simultaneously at a time where people are having dinner.”
The officers were seen crouching behind cars, blocking off surrounding streets and surrounding several nearby homes as the firefight unfolded.
Stunned families and neighbors gathered behind police tape. Several churches and a day care are in the immediate area.
A day care, Precious Babies Learning Academy, serves children as young as 8 weeks old, was placed on lockdown while some 80 children huddled inside, according to owner Yvonne Thomas-Curry.
“It was reported that all the children are safe, however we still are asking the parents to not come near the scene,” she said. “It still is dangerous. Children will remain in shelter in place and safe inside with their teachers.”
This is a developing story and will be updated following more information.