SEPTA police shoot suspect in subway

February 20, 2008 3:13:05 PM PST
SEPTA shut down part of the Broad Street line after a shooting.Just before one o'clock, witnesses heard the gunshots coming from the train platform at Broad and Allegheny..

"I got off the subway, walked over to the wall and I heard four consecutive shots ring out," said Eddie Steward.

SEPTA tells Action News that two plainclothes SEPTA officers were headed north on the Broad Street subway line when they saw the man smoking in between two rail cars around 12:45 p.m. They asked him to stop, but he didn't comply.

They say he ran off as they tried to remove him from the train and then they say he turned and pointed a gun. One of the officers fired his weapon. The bullet hit the man in the shoulder.

The man was taken to Temple Hospital where he was listed in guarded condition.

SEPTA shut down the Broad Street line and used shuttle buses between Girard and Erie while police investigated.

SEPTA riders were forced to take shuttles for a much slower trip to their destinations.

"They are jammed packed. You can't move. People are running to get on the bus," said Karen Makle.

In recent weeks, SEPTA police have beefed up patrols to try to end ongoing problems on the Broad Street line.

In the wake of this shooting , Action News has learned Philadelphia police will add extra officers underground to try to help make this subway safer.

Today's shooting is latest violent incident on the Broad Street line. Gangs of girls have been harassing passengers. On Tuesday, a young man was badly beaten. So now Philadelphia police are going underground into the subways to assist SEPTA's transit police to try to bring an end to the chaos.

"We're going to actually deploy Philadelphia police in the subways with SEPTA police to provide additional coverage, plainclothes and uniform, especially during high traffic times," said Inspector Joseph Sullivan.

Usually, Philadelphia police patrol above ground and SEPTA police below. This action is an unusual, but temporary move. The district captains will use a special overtime fund so that the officers aren't pulled from neighborhoods.