With two major mass shootings less than two weeks ago, one would hope for some kind of lull in the news of active shooter incidents. Unfortunately, that lull ended earlier today.
As I write this, an incident is taking place in Philadelphia. Fox News reports that at least five officers have been injured.
At least four Philadelphia police officers were wounded, at least one reportedly grazed in the head, in an ongoing shootout in the city’s Nicetown neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon.
Two officers were rushed to Temple University Hospital, officials told Fox 29.
Video footage of the scene showed a massive police presence in the neighborhood as dozens of responding police officers and police cars blocked off the streets surrounding 15th and Butler streets, crouching behind cars, many with their guns drawn, in search of a possible gunman, according to reports by WCAU.
One officer appeared injured and was taken away in a police car. Video also showed two other officers carrying a man and putting them in the back of a police car, according to reports by the Associated Press.
Police are cautioning the community to stay indoors as gunshots continue to ring out in the neighborhood, in one-minute increments, and police search for an active shooter.
Police officials say there may be two narcotics officers barricaded inside the building with four individuals allegedly firing up the stairwell, trying to hit the officers. Police negotiators are on the scene.
In addition to the four wounded officers, another officer was injured during the emergency response to this incident.
NBC News has a report from an eyewitness describing the scene:
A witness who lived close to the shooting told NBC Philadelphia that she heard a series of shots fired, what felt like 100 gunshots, and could smell what seemed to be gunpowder before police arrived to the scene. The unidentified woman told NBC Philadelphia that it felt “like a war.”
The nearby campus for Temple University’s Health Sciences Center is under lockdown as the situation unfolds.
With that many shots, it may well have. Even 10 or 15 shots could well feel “like a war” if you have no point of comparison, so I don’t doubt her at all.
Fortunately, it wasn’t an actual war. That would have been even more ugly.
Unfortunately, the situation appears to be still ongoing. Officers’ lives are still on the line and there are a lot of ways this could go sideways and good people be killed.
As per usual, the entire situation is fluid. Expect the number of injured to change as things progress. Hopefully, none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, thankfully, but that could change. We’ll undoubtedly have plenty of time later to play armchair quarterback and examine the incident through the lens of hindsight.
Right now, I’d rather we all pray for the safety of the officers still in harm’s way and for a speedy and complete recovery for the injured ones. While some like to mock the idea of “thoughts and prayers,” this is a fine time for both.