North Philly Standoff

‘I Knew I Was Shot': Philly Police Officers Recall Dramatic Summer Standoff

Maurice Hill is accused of barricading himself in a row home and using an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun to open fire on police

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The man accused of shooting six Philadelphia police officers during a violent August 2019 shootout is facing attempted murder and dozens of other charges.

"This is a case that speaks for itself," prosecutor Anthony Voci said Thursday outside Philadelphia's Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice. "You fire that many guns, you empty that many clips, and you do the type of damage that he did ... you don't have to be able to argue that case whatsoever."

Maurice Hill, 36, also faces multiple aggravated and simple assault charges, plus recklessly endangering other people, assault on law enforcement officers and causing or risking catastrophe.

Bail was set at more than $1 million.


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"Our office does not level these new allegations lightly," Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. “My office will continue to pursue justice in what was one of the worst mass shootings in Philadelphia history. The fact that no police officer or civilian suffered a life-threatening injury was and is a miracle." 

On Thursday, Common Pleas Judge Karen Simmons heard testimony from several police officers who were shot during the nearly 8-hour ordeal in Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood.

Officer Shaun Parker, the first to testify during Thursday's preliminary hearing, was also the first to enter a rowhome on the 3700 block of North 15th Street. A member of the police department's narcotics strike force, Parker had recently served a warrant at a nearby house before receiving orders to secure a different home.

It took three police officers to ram the front door open. Parker went in, making his way through the dimly-lit first floor towards the back of the house. As he entered the kitchen, he saw a figure standing with an arm raised, he said.

"I immediately saw a flash and I knew I was shot in the head," Parker said.

The bullet grazed the left side of his head. Dazed, the 11-year police force veteran took cover in an adjoining room. "Constant gunfire" tore through the house, sending smoke and debris into the air, he said.

"The shooting didn't stop," Parker said of those first few minutes. He returned fire until finding an escape route. Parker shot at a window and used his gun to smash through the glass. He dove outside, slashing his left arm.

Bullet fragments continued to chip off his head weeks after the ordeal, Parker said. Nearly five months later, his scars remained visible.

Hill used an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun to empty approximately 250 rounds during the standoff, according to investigators. Marijuana and additional weapons were also found inside the home, officials said.

The 36-year-old sat quietly through Thursday's hearing, occasionally speaking with his lawyer, Ed Meehan. Hill's mother and loved ones declined to comment.

Officer Michael Guinter, a 13-year police veteran, recalled "walls exploding" with gunfire. He attempted to take cover, but quickly realized the bullets were getting closer and closer to where he was positioned, Guinter said.

"It was extremely dark, extremely loud," he said.

Guinter dropped to the ground and eventually crawled his way to safety. But first, he was shot twice - once in each arm - and saw other officers also get hit by bullets, he said.

Upstairs in the house, several police officers were trapped with civilians for hours while Hill allegedly shot through the walls and barricaded himself downstairs. One of those civilians was allegedly on the phone with the suspected gunman while the shooting unfolded, officer Edward Wright testified.

The caller pleaded for the alleged shooter to stop, Wright said. Through the phone, Wright said he could hear someone repeatedly saying "F--- ck it. I don't give a f---."

Officer Sarah Debarberie said the gunfire looked like "small horizontal fireworks." A former Marine, Debarberie watched as two officers were shot while attempting to take cover behind a parked car outside.

Despite the chaos and hailstorm of bullets, everyone made it out alive that day, including 80 children who were trapped inside a nearby day care center for several hours.

Prosecutors filed 62 sets of new charges against Hill for endangering the army of officers who responded to the scene, the district attorney's office said in a statement after the hearing.

Hill will formally be arraigned early next year.

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