‘Gutsy' Off-Duty Philadelphia Police Officer Shot at After Breaking Up Beating Outside Bar

The 18th District officer intervened in the beating of a man outside a popular West Philadelphia dive bar and wound up being fired upon.

What to Know

  • A gunman opened fire on an off-duty Philadelphia police officer who was breaking up a beat down outside a popular dive bar.
  • The officer was driving by when he witnessed the beating at the corner of 49th and Catharine. He showed "guts" and intervened, police say.
  • One of the men doing the beating fired at least six shots. No one was struck.

A man fired at an off-duty Philadelphia police officer who stepped in to try and break up a fight outside a popular West Philly dive bar.

The 25-year-old officer was driving in his car with a 25-year-old woman around 49th and Catharine streets just after 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when he saw a large crowd beating a man on the ground outside the Bar(n) bar, police said.

“The off-duty officer stopped his vehicle, exited his vehicle and intervened to try and help out this individual that was being assaulted… on the street,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The 18th District officer managed to break up the fight, but then one of the men involved in the fight pulled out a handgun and fired at least six shots in the direction of the unidentified officer, Small said.

The off-duty officer managed to get back in his vehicle and drive to safety. The passenger inside his vehicle was not injured even though the vehicle was struck twice. Neither of them suffered injuries.

The man who was being beaten was left bloodied with bruises on his face.

"It took a lot of guts" for the off-duty officer to intervene in the brawl, Small said.

The officer was not in uniform and it wasn’t clear if he identified himself as an officer. He never fired his own gun, investigators said.

Police are reviewing surveillance video that “clearly shows” the gunman in hopes of tracking him down, Small said.

The gunman is a stocky man who stands around 5-feet, 10-inches to 6-feet tall and was wearing dark clothing at the time of the attack, Small said. He may have been in the bar before the fight and may frequent the establishment.

The Bar(n) was named Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Dive Bar last year for its food, pool table cheap beer and “crowd of friendly regulars who would never dream of spending their Friday night in a boozy ball pit.”

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

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