Six First Responder Police Officers Struck by Gunfire in Philadelphia
Shooting incident in the Tioga-Nicetown neighborhood in North Philadelphia
US STRONG news – Philadelphia, PA: Office of the Mayor,
Deana Gamble reports 8.15.2019 –
PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Jim Kenney today delivered the following statement regarding the shooting incident Wednesday evening in North Philadelphia.
Remarks as prepared;
Wednesday was a heart-wrenching day for the City of Philadelphia.
As you know, six police officers were struck by gunfire and others were injured while responding to the scene of an extremely dangerous incident.
I am grateful that their injuries were not life-threatening. My prayers are with them and their families as they recover.
I commend Police Commissioner Richard Ross and the brave officers of the Philadelphia Police Department.
Their careful and professional response, which spanned seven hours, ensured the safety of their fellow officers and the residents of North Philadelphia.
In the face of what could have been a horrific tragedy, the peaceful resolution of the incident marks one of the finest moments in the history of the Department, and I am proud of every officer who was involved.
The fact that our officers found themselves under such an attack while trying to carry out a basic function of their job is reprehensible.
Seeing an entire neighborhood put in harm’s way was nothing short of devastating. We can and must do more to protect our officers and all Philadelphians.
Of course, this incident is a reminder — a harsh reminder — of the devastating reality Americans face every day.
Whether it is mass shootings like we saw last week in El Paso and Dayton, guns have flooded American cities, leading to senseless — and preventable — violence.
In fact, as dozens of officers were responding to the North Philadelphia incident last night, others in South Philadelphia were responding to another shooting — a man, shot in the head and later pronounced dead.
That incident didn’t draw national attention. It happens daily in this city and many others across the nation.
But a life was lost last night — to gun violence — here in Philadelphia. And like so many other shootings, it goes unnoticed.
As I said last night, our officers need help. They need help keeping these weapons out of the hands of wrong-doers.
No one should have access to the kind of weaponry and fire power that we saw in the North Philadelphia incident.
Several weeks ago, I attended a meeting of faith-based leaders in Philadelphia who are concerned about gun violence.
Like the police, they are also on the front lines of this crisis. They are working every day to bring hope — and faith — to their communities.
And they look to us here in government for answers. I sat during that meeting and heard their pleas for help, and saw the despair in their eyes.
Ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams — they came looking for our help.
I told them simply, we are trying. In January we launched a series of anti-violence initiatives that we believe can make a difference.
But I also told those men and women of faith the simple truth — we here in city government can only do so much.
Getting relief in the form of meaningful gun control legislation will save lives — the lives of residents, and the lives of the men and women who have sworn to protect us.
Incidents like this should not keep happening—not in our city, not in our country. If we fail to act, we will continue to see gun violence ravage our communities and tear families apart.
So I say to our state and federal lawmakers: step up — or step aside.
Help our police officers. Help our clergy. Help our children.
And if you choose NOT to help us, then get out of the way — and allow cities like Philadelphia that struggle with gun violence to enact our own solutions.
Thank you, and now Police Commissioner Ross will provide an update on last night’s events.
Note: Residents who are concerned about the issue and specifically the need for comprehensive gun legislation can find suggestions on how they can lend their voices to the debate. Please see the Mayor’s Gun Control Action Guide at phila.gov/guncontrol.
Governor Wolf Visits Philadelphia Police to Show Support After Shooting
Philadelphia, Pa. – Gov. Tom Wolf visited the Philadelphia Police 39th District Station this morning to meet with some officers who protected the public last night as a gunman shot six of their fellow officers and held two others hostage. The governor will spend the day in Philadelphia and return to Harrisburg tomorrow to sign an executive order to increase gun violence prevention, which was postponed from today due to the shooting.
“It speaks volumes about the ability and bravery of these officers that they were able to resolve this terrible disturbance with no loss of life and today I offered the officers responding to the scene my full support for their heroic efforts in a difficult environment,” said Gov. Wolf. “I have been in constant contact with Philadelphia officials, including Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ross and Mayor Kenney, to provide any needed support to the department.
“I will continue to move forward with efforts to reduce gun violence to ensure that we are doing everything we can to prevent a situation like this from occurring again. This type of terror should never happen in our commonwealth.”
Gov. Wolf will participate in a press conference alongside Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Police Commissioner Richard Ross at 2 p.m. today at City Hall. They are expected to be joined by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, State Sen. Sharif Street, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and City Council President Darrell Clarke.
Tomorrow, the governor will sign an executive order to help prevent gun violence by addressing community gun violence and mass shootings, among others, with both preventative and proactive programs.