Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday that the investigation into the largest shooting of Philadelphia police officers in decades could continue for months, even as the accused gunman and four codefendants have been charged with a litany of offenses.
At a morning news conference in his Center City office, Krasner and a top deputy said that investigators still were pulling bullet fragments from cars and houses on the 3700 block of North 15th Street, where Maurice Hill allegedly fired more than 100 rounds from an AR-15 at officers serving a narcotics warrant Wednesday.
The prosecutors also said that authorities needed to process and review hundreds of hours of video footage from cameras worn by responding officers, as well as videos from doorbell cameras and other cameras on the block.
“Every person in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office … understands that the city is reeling from what happened last week,” Krasner said. “This is not just a factually complicated case, but it’s a case still under investigation. It is an investigation that we need, and we will get it right.… It could take months, but it will be done correctly.”
Krasner and his staffers left the news conference without taking any questions.
Among the issues he left unaddressed was whether his office would face any claims of a conflict while seeking to prosecute a case in which Krasner personally negotiated with the defendant during the standoff.
Krasner also did not elaborate on charges filed over the weekend against Hill’s four codefendants, or whether he foresaw any complications arising from the search warrant that precipitated the raid. The warrant was for 3712 N. 15th St.; cops encountered Hill inside 3716 N. 15th after they said they saw someone carrying a bag they thought might contain narcotics from the one house to the other.
Hill, 36, of the 300 block of Berbro Street in Darby Borough, was charged Saturday with 11 counts of attempted murder and a host of related offenses, including aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, and drug and firearms violations.
Krasner said Monday that the 11 attempted-murder counts related to the six officers whom Hill allegedly shot; two officers who were trapped in the house for hours but uninjured; two people who also were trapped in the house during the standoff; and an officer who was shot at but who was not hit.
Anthony Voci, head of the district attorney’s homicide unit, said he believed additional charges would be filed as prosecutors reviewed the evidence, which he described as “immeasurable” in scale.
“There are a number of things that have to be done over the next couple of months,” Voci said. “The scale of this investigation literally is immeasurable. You are talking about over 100 rounds of ammunition that were fired.… We are in the process of digging those out of cars, and structures like houses, ceilings, walls. That process is extremely time-consuming.”
Authorities have said that Hill opened fire about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, when officers serving the warrant entered 3716 N. 15th. Hill then holed up inside the house while shooting an AR-15 out the window at officers who responded to the scene, officials said.
Two officers were trapped upstairs in the house for hours as officials — including Krasner and Police Commissioner Richard Ross — negotiated by phone with Hill in an attempt to get him to surrender. He turned himself in to police shortly after midnight, when officers deployed tear gas on the house.
Krasner said Friday that he had offered Hill a “phony baloney” deal during the standoff in a bid to persuade him to surrender. Legal experts have said that could make Krasner a potential witness in the case, complicating his role in overseeing it.
His office declined to comment on the matter.
On Saturday, four other men — Terrence Williams, 32; Ronald Ellis, 37; and Raynell Rodgers, 30, all of Philadelphia, and Dwayne Turner, 31, of West Chester — were charged alongside Hill and are accused of being involved in an illegal drug operation he allegedly led.
Two of those charged were trapped inside the rowhouse during the standoff, held by the two cops who were hiding upstairs. Authorities did not specify who was in the house, but said Saturday during arraignment hearings that Williams was the man seen by police running between houses carrying the bag of suspected drugs.
Krasner said Monday: “The narcotics that we know of at this time include barbiturates, and also they include marijuana.” He did not elaborate.
Hill was denied bail over the weekend. Krasner said last week that Hill could spend the rest of his life in prison.
He did not have an attorney listed in court documents. Attempts to reach Shaka M. Johnson, the attorney who helped negotiate Hill’s surrender, were not successful. Attempts to reach lawyers for Hill’s accused co-defendants also were unsuccessful.
Hill is due in court Tuesday for a probation-violation hearing related to a 2012 perjury conviction.
On Monday, officials in Delaware County released additional details about Hill’s 2007 arrests there, saying he twice had tried to escape from police custody. The second time, according to court records, he freed himself from leg shackles and unlocked one end of his handcuffs while in a police van, then burst out of the vehicle.
Darby Township officers later found Hill hiding under a “large pile of clothes” inside a house, records say, and when confronted, he brandished the handcuffs dangling from his wrist like a weapon, striking a police dog in the head. He pleaded guilty and received a jail sentence, court records say.
Hill and his codefendants in last week’s incident are due in court for preliminary hearings next month, although Krasner said that due to the ongoing investigation, those hearings likely would be delayed.
On the 3700 block of North 15th, evidence of the shootout lingered Monday afternoon.
Mary Singleton, 54, who owns the house next to the one where Hill holed up, still had glass remnants on her front porch because her storm door was shattered during the incident.
Her family was escorted out safely, but Singleton said Monday the pain of the incident remains.
“Things are not back to normal, no, no, no,” she said at her front door. “The kids have been traumatized.… My family doesn’t feel safe.”