Philadelphia officials on Thursday praised the Police Department for resolving the previous day’s 7½-hour standoff — a chaotic and dangerous situation that left six cops wounded by gunfire and trapped two others inside a Tioga house for hours — and said it was miraculous that nobody was seriously injured.
A department spokesperson identified the wounded officers as Joshua Burkitt, Michael Guinter, Nathaniel Harper, Justin Matthews, Shaun Parker, and Ryan Waltman. One officer had a graze wound to the head; others were shot in their arms, legs, or hands. Three were treated at Temple University Hospital and three at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. All were released within hours.
The department said the officers ranged in experience from a third-year cop working patrol duty in a neighboring district to an officer with nearly two decades on the force assigned to a narcotics unit.
It was the largest number of Philadelphia officers injured in a single incident in recent history, officials said.
John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, the officers’ union, said Thursday that “in my 30 years involved in law enforcement, I’ve never experienced anything like I experienced yesterday.”
According to the U.S. Justice Department, 251 officers were shot in the line of duty in 2018, eight of whom worked in Pennsylvania.
Speaking at a Thursday news conference at City Hall, Mayor Jim Kenney choked up when recounting how officers at the scene worked to evacuate children from a nearby day-care center, one of the anecdotes he said encapsulated the department’s skilled response to the shootout.
“They were coordinated, they were talking to each other, they were directing each other, they were keeping each other safe — while being barraged with ammunition, shots, from a high-powered rifle,” Kenney said.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross also praised those who responded, highlighting how the two officers trapped inside told their fellow cops not to come in to assist, because doing so could put them at risk of being shot.
“There are many heroes from last night,” Ross said.
District Attorney Larry Krasner, who like Ross negotiated with accused shooter Maurice Hill before Hill surrendered, credited police for resolving the situation. “I think the Police Department did an amazing job,” he said during a news conference at his office.
Here are more details about the officers who were shot, according to a police spokesperson:
Burkitt, 26, on the force two years, assigned to the 24th District, shot in the left hand.
Guinter, 32, a 12-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, shot in both arms.
Harper, 43, a 19-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, shot in the left leg.
Matthews, 31, on the force three years, assigned to the 16th District, graze wound to the left leg.
Parker, 32, an 11-year veteran assigned to the Narcotics Strike Force, graze wound to the head.
Waltman, 42, a 12-year veteran assigned to the 39th District, shot in the right hand.