A Philadelphia Police officer opened fire after following two stolen vehicles through Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods early Thursday morning.
Police put out a citywide assist call as a large presence of officers descended on Horrocks and Strahle streets in the city’s Rhawnhurst neighborhood as the chase ended before daybreak.
The pursuit -- not described a high-speed chase but rather police following the suspects -- began about 3 miles away in the city’s Oxford Circle neighborhood, police said. An officer saw a stolen vehicle along the 6600 block of Eastwood Street around 4:35 a.m. and began to follow that driver. Other officers joined in to follow another vehicle meeting the description of recent carjackings, investigators said.
One suspect was behind the wheel of a white Toyota Camry that was stolen from a security guard around 4:20 a.m. Thursday in the lot of a bank at Bustleton Avenue and President Street -- more than 4 miles from Eastwood Street, Philadelphia Police Public Affairs Capt. Sekou Kinebrew said.
That man had jumped out of a Hyundai Tuscon that was stolen sometime after midnight in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, Kinebrew said. Both drivers then drove off before being spotted about 15 minutes later.
The men bailed out of the vehicles at Horrocks and Strahle and ran off into nearby woods, investigators said.
As the man driving the Camry got out of the car, he pointed a gun at an officer who then fired one shot, Kinebrew said.
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No one was shot and there were no reports of injuries.
Police captured both suspects separately in Pennypack Park and could be seen loading one man into a police wagon a short time later. The men awaited charges Thursday morning.
Kinebrew said investigators were still trying to find out if the men in the Tuscon were the same men who carjacked the vehicle from Bucks County earlier Thursday.
"we're not sure at this point if the people that committed the Fairless Hills carjacking were the people in the car, we suspect they were but we really need to nail that down," Kinebrew said.
Police also continued to comb the park for the gun the man allegedly pointed at the officer.
Kinebrew said it appeared initially that the officer was justified in the shooting.
"The officer has a right and a duty to defend himself and anyone else present in those type of exchanges or encounters," Kinebrew said.
Police identified that suspects as Tyrik Robinson, 18, of Magee Avenue and Nacir Breland, 19, of West Erie Avenue.