Police return fire on armed suspect in Southwest Philadelphia


Police say officers were searching the area of 53rd and Greenway for the shooter Wednesday afternoon, when a 19-year-old male, fitting the description of the suspect, began firing at police with a .9mm handgun.

Five bullet holes can be seen scattered across the windshield of a 12th District police van.

"There are bullet holes in the windshield. Those bullet holes are from police officers. They had to shoot from inside the vehicle. They had no chance of getting outside the police vehicle. They had to defend themselves quickly and had to act quickly. The driver was stuck in the van while being fired upon. The passenger was able to open his door and return fire," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright said.

The 19-year-old suspect was struck multiple times and is in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Police say he was being sought in connection with the shooting of a 50-year-old man earlier at 57th and Chester.

The 50-year-old victim is hospitalized in stable condition.

This incident comes hours after police shot another suspect in North Philadelphia.

This is the sixth police involved shooting in a week's time.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has asked the Department of Justice to review the rise of police shootings.

However, officials on the scene of the Southwest Philadelphia shooting defend the quick action by police.

"They confronted an armed assailant who just shot someone around the corner. The officers are out here doing a tough job. They are asked to make split second decisions with limited or no information at all. When you're confronted by a male or female with a firearm, I expect them and they have the duty to protect themselves and the community," Wright said.

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