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Three SWAT officers shot, injured in Philadelphia; police call level of gun violence ‘ridiculous’

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

(PHILADELPHIA) — Three members of a Philadelphia SWAT team were shot while serving a warrant Wednesday morning, according to police, who again pleaded for an end to the city’s gun violence.

It appears all the injured officers will be OK, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said.

This shooting occurred just after 6 a.m. as SWAT officers tried to serve a warrant on a person who was wanted for an August homicide and was suspected of participating in multiple armed robberies, Philadelphia Police First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference.

As officers approached the door, the 19-year-old suspect shot at them through the door and window, Stanford said.

The suspect tried to flee, and when the SWAT officers followed, the suspect fired at them, according to Stanford.

SWAT officers returned fire and the suspect was pronounced dead at 7:32 a.m., he said.

Two of the injured officers are expected to be released from the hospital later on Wednesday, Stanford said. One officer was struck in the leg, one in the hip and the third was hit in the upper chest, Stanford said.

“It’s good to see them sitting up, talking, and their families around them,” Kenney told reporters.

Stanford called the level of gun violence in Philadelphia “ridiculous,” adding, “it’s enough.”

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t either have a child that is shot, or multiple people shot, because there are too many people out here carrying guns and they don’t have consequences,” he said. “Some people need to be in jail.”

“This should not be happening — this is not normal,” he said. “Unfortunately we have come to believe that this is the normal course of events — it’s not … it is troubling.”

Stanford stressed that Wednesday’s suspected gunman was just 19 years old.

“Something has been broken in this young man’s life for a long time, and it just didn’t start today,” he said.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw added in a statement: “We are tired of having to send our officers into harm’s way to serve warrants on suspects who have no business being on the street in the first place. No — not everyone needs to be in jail. But when we repeatedly see the extensive criminal histories of those we arrest for violent crime, the question needs to be asked as to why they were yet again back out on the street.”

“I am beyond disgusted by this violence. Our entire department is sickened by what is happening to the people that live, work, and visit our city,” Outlaw continued. “Our officers will not be intimidated, and we will continue to do everything we can to make Philadelphia a safer place to live.”

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