gun violence

SWAT Officer Shoots, Kills Gunman in South Philly, Police Say

The deadly incident occurred early Tuesday evening on the 1900 block of South Bancroft Street

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A SWAT officer shot and killed a gunman who opened fire at police in South Philadelphia, officials said. 

The ordeal began around 10 a.m. Tuesday when the unidentified gunman allegedly threatened another man with a gun while the two were involved in a fight.

The man then reported the gunman to police.

After attaining an arrest warrant, police and SWAT officers found the gunman inside a building along the 1900 block of South Bancroft Street -- that's a short distance from Broad Street) just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. When police told him to come out, the man allegedly fired three shots at SWAT officers.

"They knocked on the door, told him to come outside, at which point he produced a handgun and fired at least three shots at our SWAT officers," Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp said.

One of those officers then opened fire, shooting the gunman.

"It was like boom, boom, boom," one witness said while describing the gunfire -- which was heard throughout parts of South Philly -- as "very fast."

The gunman was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Police have not yet revealed his identity.

Officials don't believe any officers were injured during the incident. The SWAT officer who opened fire will be on administrative leave while internal affairs investigate the shooting.

There have been at least seven homicides in the first four days of 2022 -- on pace with 2021 -- as a trend of deadly killings continues into the new year.

"Again this just speaks to the level of gun violence that we continue to see in the city, we flip the calendar to a new year, but it's a arbitrary thing," Gripp said.

Some 562 people were killed in 2021, according to Philadelphia Police Department statistics. Those killings were the most since the city began keeping track in 1960, and they eclipsed the previous record of 500 slayings in 1990.

The city appropriated $155 million to public safety in its last budget, including $16 million for neighborhood-based groups fighting violence.

However, Mayor Jim Kenney twice last year declined to issue an emergency declaration on gun violence, something pushed by both activists and fellow lawmakers as a way to clear red tape and expedite resources to combat the problem.

In recent weeks, the mayor told NBC10 via email that an emergency declaration on gun violence would have “no discernible impact on strengthening what is already a highly collaborative and innovative approach to addressing this public health crisis.”

City Council President Darrell Clarke issued a statement Friday, saying, "Council and the Mayor clearly must do more in 2022."

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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