PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two Highway Patrol Officers were hospitalized early Sunday morning after a shootout in Northeast Philadelphia.
According to Philadelphia Police, officers were responding to reports of gunshots near Cottman Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard around 2 a.m. Sunday. When officers surveying the area saw a vehicle matching the description of a pickup truck possibly involved in the shooting, they tried to pull the driver over. At some point, police said, the driver fled and led officers on a chase.
Officers eventually located the truck near Frankford Avenue and Welsh Road, where two Highway Patrol vehicles with four total officers attempted to stop the car. The fleeing driver then rammed one of the Highway Patrol vehicles, and when the officers got out of their cars, the suspect started firing at the officers, Interim Police Chief John Stanford said at a press conference Sunday morning.
All four officers that were shot at returned fire, but two Highway Patrol officers were hit; one was shot in the head, the other was shot in the face and leg. Both were taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital by police, and are in stable condition Sunday morning.
“I had the opportunity to speak with both officers,” Stanford said. “We are very blessed and lucky to know they are going to be able to recover physically from this incident.”
The suspect, identified by Stanford as a 40-year-old man with multiple prior convictions, was also shot and in critical condition, Stanford said.
During that press conference, Stanford said one of the injured officers has been on the force for six years, and the other for 10 years. He also confirmed that the six-year veteran officers injured on Sunday was shot in the line of duty before.
“We have these press conferences over and over and over again where our officers are involved in these kinds of incidents,” Stanford said, “that one, displays the commitment they have, but also displays the lack of respect for law enforcement in a sense that you have an individual who is willing to fire at officers when they are simply doing their job.”
The two officers have not yet been identified.