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Police shoot S. Jersey teen in grandparents’ S. Phila. home

Police wounded an apparently suicidal South Jersey teenager who they said broke into his grandparents' South Philadelphia rowhouse early this morning.

Police wounded an apparently suicidal South Jersey teenager who they said broke into his grandparents' South Philadelphia rowhouse early this morning.

The teen, identified as Patrick McMurtrie, 18, of Turnersville, allegedly stabbed himself several times before lunging at police with a knife.

An officer fired twice, striking him in the head.

McMurtirie's condition has been upgraded from critical to stable at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

About 2 a.m., police received reports of a white male breaking into a second-floor window in a narrow alley behind the 200 block of Gerritt Street.

When officers arrived, they spotted someone in the house. They entered and called out to the knife-wielding intruder.

"It appears he's stabbing himself in the chest with the knife," said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman.

"The teen was on the phone apparently talking about killing himself," Vanore said.

Police spoke to McMurtrie, but he refused to cooperate, Vanore said, and lunged at the officers, prompting a Fourth District sergeant to fire.

Two men at the house this morning were identified by a neighbor as uncles of the wounded teen.

They declined to talk with reporters at the scene.

Later, one uncle, a dark-haired middle-aged man, left the house carrying a wooden window frame with two broken panes of glass. He turned out of sight on Moyamensing Avenue, the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in the background.

A next-door neighbor, Evelyn Conover, 94, said the disturbance began around 1:30 a.m.

"I heard a lot of talking and I heard a lot of banging," Conover said. "... It was wicked back there."

Another neighbor, who declined to be identified, said "I heard a window breaking and then. . . boom! boom!"

Louise Collins, 88, who lives across from the shooting scene, said she called the grandparents, Richie and Marie McMurtirie, in Wildwood to let them know what happened.

The couple were living on the street when Collins moved in 57 years ago, she said.

"He's a good kid," she said of the young man who was shot.

"They're a nice family," she said. "Very nice."

"This was such a nice little street. Still is," she said.

A woman who lived on the block, but preferred not to be named, said the last police incident was several years ago, when police were chasing a bank robber.

Patrick McMurtirie is expected to be charged with aggravated assault, Vanore said.

The incident is being investigated by Internal Affairs and the South detectives.

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