A Philadelphia police officer shot a screwdriver-wielding man after he lunged at another officer inside a Nicetown-Tioga police station Wednesday morning, police told NBC10.
The incident inside the 39th District on Hunting Park Avenue left the armed man in critical condition and two officers hurt, police said.
Police said the 23-year-old suspect came to a window with a mask on around 9:15 Wednesday morning. The officer behind the window, a seven-year veteran of the force, couldn't hear the man through the Plexiglass, police said. So, she opened a key-code protected side door of the room to speak to him.
“At which point this individual lunged into the operations room, right at the officer,” PPD Sergeant Eric Gripp said. “The individual was armed with a screwdriver and immediately began fighting with one of the officers in the operations room.”
A second officer joined in the scuffle and tried to disarm the man, Gripp said.
At that point, a 32-year-old officer performing administrative duties fired her gun, hitting the man once in the torso, police said.
Gripp said it all happened within 30 seconds.
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The man shot was taken to the hospital where he is in critical but stable condition, police said.
One of the officers had wounds to the back of his head and was taken to Temple University Hospital in stable condition, police said. His family member told NBC10 he has a puncture wound behind his right ear but is in good spirits. Police said he was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
The other officer had an injured elbow and hand, police said, and remains hospitalized.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the discharging officer was not hurt.
Gripp said the police department's internal affairs will investigate, which is the policy for shootings involving officers. The officer who shot the man will be placed on leave pending the investigation, according to Outlaw.
There aren't surveillance cameras in the operations room, according to Gripp. And Outlaw said whether the uniformed officers had body cameras or stun guns on them in a part of the investigation.
Outlaw said all three officers worked in the 39th District's operations room.
Gripp described the operations room as "the customer service window" for the public. It has Plexiglass with holes to talk through. It is also where officers answer phones and paperwork comes in.
“We’re very lucky this wasn’t worse than it was,” Gripp said.