A gunman shot and wounded a police officer as he climbed a fence during a foot chase early today in North Philadelphia, authorities said.

Officer Kevin Gorman, 33, was treated for a shoulder wound at Temple University released about 2-1/2 hours after the shooting, police said.

Police said Gorman and his partner stopped a speeding silver Mercury Marquis with four men inside about 2:30 a.m. at Westmoreland and Hope Streets.

Three of the men stayed in the car, but one bolted out a back door, prompting Gorman, a 3-year-veteran of the force, to give chase, police said.

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said that as Gorman climbed a fence on the 3300 block of North Howard Street, two shots rang out.

One bullet hit the officer in the shoulder and the gunman escaped.

Police took the three other men into custody and were questioning them.

Lt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman, said the gunman was armed with a .45-caliber pistol.