2 Officers Shot, 1 in Head, While Serving Warrant in Delaware County

Neither officer seriously hurt by gunfire

A wanted man opened fire on SWAT team members who were serving a warrant at a Delaware County home Wednesday morning, hitting one officer in the head and the other in the hand, according to authorities.

"But for the grace of God today, we would have lost two officers," said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

Police arrested 25-year-old Lamar James, a suspect in an Oct. 27 shooting in southwest Philadelphia, and his father, 41-year-old Tony Gale, following the tense situation along the 100 block of Lafayette Avenue, near MacDade Boulevard, in Collingdale, Pennsylvania.

"(James) was suspected of coming up to a corner and shooting another individual multiple times," Whelan said.

Investigators tracked James to the Collingdale home and, around 6 a.m., Upper Darby Township SWAT officers and member of the Collingdale Police Department descended on the location, according to Whelan.

Nine officers "with police across their chests" approached the home, announced themselves as police and knocked on the door, Whelan said.

"The father... got up from the couch ran to the door and attempted to bolt the door shut," Whelan said.

Moments later, James fired four shots -- using a stolen revolver -- at the door, according to investigators.

One Upper Darby SWAT officer was hit in the hand and the other was struck in his ballistic helmet.

"Fortunately, because of the helmet protecting him, he did not sustain injury," Whelan said.

The officer hit in the hand was treated at an area hospital and released, authorities said.

Officers returned fire on the suspect and a standoff ensued before authorities were able to take the men, along with Gale's wife Caroline, into custody.

Prosecutors charged James with 48 counts including attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault of a police officer, reckless endangerment and weapons offenses, according to court records.

If convicted, James could serve 20 to 40 years on each count of assault on a police officer, Whelan said.

"Our police officers risk their lives on a daily basis and this is one example of how dangerous their job is," he added.

Gale faces one count of obstructing justice. Whelan said Caroline Gale would be released without being charged.

The Lafayette Avenue home is the same home where four armed men held a family at gunpoint Oct. 1, according to investigators.

"There is a connection between the (Southwest Philly) shooting and the home invasion," Whelan said.

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