Nine Philadelphia police officers have been injured, six of whom were shot, during a gun battle in the city’s Temple University neighborhood Wednesday night. The North Philadelphia Shootout between police and Maurice Hill, a man with a long and troubling criminal record, lasted nearly eight hours, but ended shortly after midnight with Hill in custody.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Ross stated the incident began at 4:30 p.m. when police officers tried to serve a “narcotics warrant” at a single-family home where “gunfire erupted.” He said officers had to “escape through windows and doors from a barrage of bullets.” Ross stated that the police have been unable to get the shooter to communicate with them via phone calls and loudspeakers.
Two officers were trapped inside the house for hours, along with others described as potential hostages. Officers announced they all got everyone of the house at 10 p.m., but that the shooter was still inside, armed, and active.
The Philadelphia Inquirer had published the shooter’s name before it was officially confirmed, identified through anonymous police sources as Maurice Hill. His record of involvement with the criminal justice system is staggering. Per the Inquirer:
Public records show he has been arrested about a dozen times since turning 18, and convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing and aggravated assault. He has been in and out of prison; the longest sentence handed him came in 2010 when a federal judge gave him a 55-month term.
And there’s more, including a federal prison stint for being a felon in possession of firearms. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced him to four years and seven months in prison for that.
In 2008, he was convicted of escaping, fleeing from police, and resisting arrest. Along the way, he beat criminal charges on everything from kidnapping to attempted murder.
The list goes on, including a perjury conviction in 2013 and charges of false imprisonment in 2014. Clearly, the problem is not enough gun control!
Time for More Gun Control!
Philadelphia’s Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney did not even wait until the shooting was over to demand that lack of gun control was the problem:
“Our officers need help. They need help with gun control, they need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
What weapons he was referring to went unspoken, as any firearm used by Mr. Hill is yet unidentified. Kenney went on to rail against preemption, the rules that Pennsylvania enacts to keep cities from enacting their own varied gun control provisions. Then he targeted the shooters “unlimited supply of bullets,” saying “it’s disgusting, and we have to do something about it.”
Mr. Hill’s criminal convictions make him legally ineligible to own any firearm. The latest tweet from Philadelphia Police at press time contains some good news – and the warning that the situation has not been resolved:
UPDATE: ALL six officers who were shot have been released from area hospitals. One Officer is being admitted for injuries sustained in a vehicle crash related to the incident. Situation remains active and ongoing.
— Eric Gripp (@PPDEricGripp) August 15, 2019
After the nearly eight-hour standoff, Hill was taken into custody, injured officers were all treated for non-life threatening wounds and released, and the four women who were in the house with the shooter were escorted out without getting hurt. Thankfully, no lives were lost.