Disturbing Video: Guns Handed Out After Cop Shot

Key evidence in cop shooting is "very, very disturbing"

Seconds after a Philadelphia police officer was shot, someone inside a nearby bar opened up a plastic bag and started arming people with guns, according to police.

Franchise Bar and Grill in North Philadelphia was shut down Monday afternoon by Licenses and Inspections for "contributing to the violence/life safety behavior" and they cited the business for multiple code violations. The bar is reportedly owned by a Philadelphia firefighter.

Police recovered a video depicting the distribution of guns, but are not releasing the video to the public or the media.

"It's a very, very disturbing video. The amount of gunfire being handed out, right after a police officer is shot," said Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn.

The key piece of evidence police have in Sunday morning's shootings is videotape that captures a deliberate and disturbing sequence of events. It left investigators unsettled about two things -- someone seemed to intentionally shoot Philadelphia police officer Ashley Hoggard and right after the shooting, guns were passed out to arm more people on the street.

"When you look inside that bar and you look at where those guns are being handed out, it seems to me it's in an area under control by the management, not a place where the general public goes," said Blackburn.

Officer Hoggard and three civilians were shot, but the motive is "completely unclear" Blackburn said.

Here's what police pieced together from the videotape (which they are not releasing) and witnesses:

Early Sunday morning, about 2:30 a.m., people were dancing inside the bar. Surveillance video showed several people inside the club, even on the dance floor, "clearly armed."

One of the men with a gun walked out of the club, had some sort of verbal exchange with Demetrius Dixon, 38, and shot Dixon multiple times.

The shooter then handed his gun to a second man who passed it, like a baton, Blackburn said, to a third man as Officer Hoggard and his partner arrived on the scene.

On the video, about one minute after Dixon's shooting, you see Hoggard walk between two cars.

"You see him slumped down, he walks back to the sidewalk where he collapses and then you see his partner rescue him," said Blackburn.

"After the officer's shot, you see individuals run back into that establishment and they're being armed with guns from a plastic bag."

Police found a 9mm glock at the scene and nearby, they found evidence of a third shooting: Thaquiddum Curtis, 32, was shot in the leg. But police don't know when that happened or if it's connected to the officer and Dixon's shootings.

"We don't know the relevance at this point. It's a large scene, very complicated. We're interviewing dozens and dozens of witnesses."
They discovered the fourth gunshot victim, Frank Whitmore, at the hospital that night. He was hit in the arm. Police were questioning him to find out when and where that happened.

Officer Hoggard and the other two victims are expected to recover. Blackburn said the video does not show who shot Hoggard but the first priority is to find that person and the second is to investigate the bar, which he said was also the scene of a quadruple shooting in November of 2007.

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