Gunfire and police chase along I-76

December 30, 2007 4:33:59 PM PST
An off duty police officer on his way to Sunday mass had to answer the call of duty instead, chasing a car with a 2-year-old child inside and someone shooting at him. The little boy was taken on a harrowing high-speed chase through the streets of Philadelphia.

The incident began in the 600 block of Franklin Street when 20-year-old Justin Ellis was dropping off his toddler son at the boy's mother's house. An argument erupted and Ellis allegedly began pointing a gun at the woman. A neighbor flagged down the off duty officer who then responded, prompting Ellis to flee with another man and the child in his car.

The officer pursued and at one point shots were fired out of Ellis' vehicle. By whom is unclear.

Finally on the Girard off ramp of I-76 the chase came to a close and Ellis was placed under arrest.

The police officer's weapon did discharge and Internal Affairs is investigating, but right now is appears that the weapon went off accidentally as Ellis was placed under arrest.

No one was hit by the gunfire.

Ellis faces a long list of charges, including aggravated assault, reckless endangerment of a child, and weapons offenses.