Officer shot by friendly fire in North Philadelphia

September 12, 2012 2:46:20 PM PDT
A police officer was released from the hospital on Wednesday after being shot in a "friendly fire" incident at a North Philadelphia gas station Tuesday night.

SWAT Officer Jose Roman was brought to Hahnemann University Hospital strictly as a precaution and expected to be just fine.

He left the hospital tired, and in pain, but with his wife by his side

Police tell Action News that 19 year veteran's partner fired his shotgun, and some of the pellets from that shotgun either ricocheted off the ground or another vehicle, hitting Roman in his protective vest.

That vest may have saved Roman's life.

Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross explained, "We're very, very lucky here considering the circumstances. Again, it's important to highlight the fact that they recovered two weapons and obviously one of these guys was not afraid to attempt to use it."

Action News was on the scene as police loaded one suspect into a police cruiser after last night's officer involved shooting.

It was 10:00 p.m. when Officer Roman and his partner were flagged down by a woman who told them a gun was pulled on her. The duo quickly spotted the suspect's vehicle, a white Chevrolet Impala, at a gas station at Broad and Parrish streets. One suspect was pumping gas while two other sat in the car.

"In an attempt to gain control of the males [the officers] ordered them to show their hands," said Ross. "At some point in time, one of the males actually produced a handgun, pointed it at the officers, and Officer Roman's partner discharged his shotgun."

In surveillance video from across the street from the shooting you can see a flash when police say Roman's partner fired his shotgun.

Ricocheting pellets struck Roman in the chest, but his protective vest saved him. Roman was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for observation. Fellow officers rushed to the scene to check on him.

Greg Bule, who witnessed the shooting, reacted by saying, "I'm just glad that he's alright. And as far as I know he's I stable condition. Thank God for the vest."

One suspect was shot. He is in extremely critical condition at Temple University Hospital. Two others were taken into custody. The names of the suspects have not been released, but sources tell Action News that they are well known to police.

Police say they recovered two loaded handguns and neither of them was discharged.

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