Accused Police Shooter Just Released from Jail in Another Gun Case Last Week: Attorney

A Philadelphia Police officer who was shot while thwarting a robbery Sunday night was released from the hospital Monday. SkyForce10 was over the scene as Officer James McCullough, 24, of the 18th District, left Presbyterian Hospital shortly before 7 p.m.

A day after he was shot while thwarting a robbery in West Philadelphia, Officer James McCullough, 24, was released from the hospital. SkyForce10 was over the scene as he was released.

The two-year veteran was released the same day a suspect with a lengthy rap sheet was arrested in connection to his shooting.

NBC10 Security Analysis Expert Bob Brzenchek has the latest on police safety after a Philadelphia police officer was shot while responding to an attempted carjacking Sunday night. Officer James McCullough is the second officer from the 18th district to be shot on duty this year. Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot in an ambush back in January.

Scott Griffin, 23, was taken into custody just before 1 p.m. Monday by undercover narcotics officers on North Alden Street, off Girard Avenue between 57th and 58th streets, police said. NBC10 learned Griffin was released from jail on another gun charge just last week.

A Philadelphia police officer was shot Sunday night in the left thigh after responding to an attempted carjacking. NBC10’s Deanna Durante is at Police Headquarters and reveals what led to the officer’s shooting.

Griffin is accused of shooting Officer McCullough just before 9 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Officers recovered a gun when Griffin was arrested and they plan to run ballistic testing to find out whether it was the weapon used in the officer shooting, officials said.

Griffin has 14 prior arrests, according to police and court records. Two are active drug cases and a gun charge.

We are learning new information about Officer Jimmy McCullough – a two year veteran of the force who was shot in the left thigh while responding to an attempted carjacking Sunday night. NBC10’s Cydney Long has more from his friends and family.

The gun charge was dismissed last week when two witnesses failed to appear for a preliminary hearing and Griffin was released from custody, said Josh Scarpello, his defense attorney in that case.

An 18th district police officer was shot in the leg Sunday night after responding to an attempted carjacking with the suspects already inside the vehicle. NBC10’s Monique Braxton is at the scene of the crime in West Philadelphia.

The case originated from a March 17 arrest, according to the court records.

It was dismissed last Wednesday and Griffin was released, Scarpello said. Griffin was arrested while allegedly possessing a gun inside a stolen vehicle, he said.

Philadelphia Police
(L to R) Officer James McCullough, Scott Griffin, Samir Coyett

Four days later, Griffin, along with an accomplice, allegedly went on a crime spree in West Philadelphia — robbing one man at gunpoint and carjacking a woman.

The carjacking victim flagged down Officer McCullough along Market Street near Salford, police said.

NBC10’s Jacqueline London breaks down the latest details in the search for a second suspect in Sunday night’s shooting of a Philadelphia police officer.

McCullough went over to the woman's car and got into a physical confrontation with Griffin, Capt. James Clark said. Griffin broke free ran northbound on Salford Street as McCullough gave chase. During that pursuit, Clark said Griffin turned and opened fire. McCullough was hit once in the left thigh. The officer then pulled out his own weapon and fired three shots, Clark said.

As McCullough chased Griffin, the second suspect, 20-year-old Samir Coyett, ran onto SEPTA's Market-Frankford El platform and tried to catch a train but was apprehended after running back down to street level, according to police.

The bullet wound left McCullough bleeding profusely causing the officer to apply a tourniquet to his own thigh, said investigators. His partner rushed him to Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he was treated and then released Monday.

NBC10’s Katy Zachry reports that Officer James McCullough’s training helped him stop the bleeding after he was shot in the leg.

"He looked good," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. "He's very strong, had a strong handshake and a strong conversation."

McCullough is engaged to be married and is also the father of a 2-year-old daughter. He also plays rugby, according to the Northeast Philadelphia Rugby Club, which wished McCullough a speedy recovery. [[376054041, C]]

Police found a knife and hat belonging to the suspect, police said.

Before the carjacking, Griffin and Coyett robbed a man at gunpoint in the same area, Clark said. Coyett actually ran past the robbery victim while fleeing the scene, according to Clark.

Coyett has been arrested three times, Clark said. Police are working with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office on charges.

NBC10’s Matt DeLucia is in West Philadelphia after a car robbery suspect opened fire on Officer James McCullough Sunday night. Mayor Jim Kenney met with the officer and said he appeared strong.

The shooting occurred about three blocks away from where fellow 18th District Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett was shot during an ambush attack back on Jan. 7. Ross didn't draw comparisons between the shootings, however.

"I don't feel like police officers in this city are being targeted," said Ross. "This is a case clearly where this does not start with the police officers, this starts with two guys trying to commit a crime, that was unrelated with police. So this is not about an officer being targeted."

Contact Us