An off-duty Philadelphia police officer shot and critically wounded a man who had been reported behaving "in a frightening way" last night in a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood, police said.

Shortly after 8 p.m., a resident in the 1500 block of Lardner Street, in the Oxford Circle section, called a neighbor who is a member of the police department.

He told the officer that he was scared of the man, who had been trying to crawl into bushes in front of the caller's home and had also been standing out in the road blocking traffic, said Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman.

The officer "came to his neighbor's aid. The man tried to attack him, [the officer]," Vanore said. "He began chasing the officer around a car."

The officer shot the man in a shoulder and leg. He was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he was in "critical but stable condition," Vanore said. He declined to identify the officer or the man who was shot.

Vanore said Northeast Division detectives investigated at the scene. So did members of the Internal Affairs unit, which reviews shootings involving police.

The officer who shot the man has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation, Vanore said.

Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194 or jdistefano@phillynews.com.