Investigators estimate between 40 and 50 shots were fired on responding officers.
No officers were injured.
Police were initially called to Kendrick Court Apartments near Frankford Avenue shortly before 11 p.m.
Neighbor Michael Laskey returned from work right before it all began.
"We were behind an ambulance and a police officer that just pulled up," Laskey recounted.
Laskey was concerned a neighbor might be hurt so he waited a few minutes and watched the situation escalate.
"Paramedic comes running out the building, and there was two more cop cars that pulled up, " Laskey remembered.
Laskey saw more and more officers arrive, then came gunshots.
"The cops were jumping down behind cars and everything. It was chaos," said Laskey.
Initially, police responded to a call for a man shot inside an apartment.
When officers arrived, they tried to get to that person, who was apparently alone inside.
Police report that the man refused to come out and then opened fire on officers.
Next door neighbor Jason Lewis first hid his family, then fled.
"I hid the babies in the furthest room, and I'm like 'hold on, it's still shooting. We gotta get out of here because these walls are thin'. So, got them- and once we got in the hallway- the cop was like- 'come come come come', so we just ran," explained Lewis.
SWAT was called in and took their positions.
Several SWAT officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter.
In the end, the shooter had three gunshot wounds, but it's not clear if police bullets struck him or his injuries are from the original call.
"At this point we know that the male is struck in both arms and the chest. What we don't know is if the discharge by the SWAT officers were what struck the male- because again- the call came out as a person already shot," according to Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew.
The man was listed in critical condition at the hospital.
Police said officers spent hours gathering evidence, including a shotgun they say the man tossed out his window.
The incident remains under investigation.