After Maurice Hill surrendered to police, ending a 7½-hour standoff in Tioga in which police say he shot six officers and fired at dozens more, he was treated at Temple University Hospital as an officer stood guard nearby.
From his hospital bed, Hill, then 36, yelled at hospital staff and hurled obscenities, Officer James Balmer testified Thursday.
At one point, according to Balmer, Hill lifted his head and shouted: “I hope all them cops is dead!”
Balmer was one of more than 15 Philadelphia police officers to testify Thursday about Hill’s alleged shooting spree in August, the largest shooting of police officers in modern Philadelphia history.
Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Danielle Burkavage, officers described the chaos they say Hill created by unloading a hail of bullets inside and outside a rowhouse where he’d camped out on the 3700 block of North 15th Street, an incident that stemmed from a botched drug raid.
No one died during the shooting and ensuing barricade. Several of the six officers who were wounded by gunfire testified in December that Hill began firing as they sought to secure the house to search for possible narcotics. After that hearing, Hill was held for trial on 11 counts of attempted murder and related crimes.
The accounts provided Thursday by Balmer and his colleagues offered a glimpse at the pandemonium on the street outside the house Aug. 14. Following the testimony, Hill was held for court on dozens of additional crimes, including an additional 22 counts of attempted murder. He will face even more charges at another preliminary hearing scheduled for April.
One responding officer, Gregory Creachen, testified Thursday that bullets fired from the rowhouse came within inches of his head as he ducked behind a parked car.
Another, SEPTA Officer Andrew Schermerhorn, said that as he and others were preparing to enter the house through a basement door, shots came flying out a window overhead and glass cascaded to the ground.
Officer Alex Nicholson said he and a colleague had entered an abandoned house nearby to scout the situation. As he tried to find a safe place to get settled, Nicholson said, his colleague unexpectedly pulled him to the ground.
“As he grabbed me,” Nicholson said, “shots started coming through the window.”
In court, Hill sat next to his lawyer, Edward Meehan, displaying little emotion as he read from papers at the desk where he was seated.
Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons dismissed some of the attempted-murder counts against Hill, saying he would be held for court on reckless endangerment instead.