Philadelphia police officer wounded after bullet ricochets off ballistic vest, hits hand

Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Police officer injured after bullet ricochets off ballistic vest
Philadelphia police officer wounded after bullet ricochets off ballistic vest, hits hand

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia police officer was shot early Wednesday morning while serving a search warrant.

It happened just after 6 a.m. in the 1300 block of King Place in North Philadelphia.

WATCH: Police give update after officer shot in North Philadelphia

Police say the officer was serving a warrant when they were fired on, according to officials.

Police say the officer was serving a search warrant with the narcotics unit when he was fired on.

The team was serving seven warrants, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.

"There's 10 officers in the breaching team. Two marked cars out front of the property as well as a marked car in the back of the property. Two cars out front - one of them is a hospital case in the event we do have an incident," he described.

Bethel said the officer was struck in his ballistic vest which then ricocheted, wounding his hand.

"While making that breach from the first door and moving to the second door, a shot is fired. The officer takes one shot to his ballistic vest, hitting the right side. We believe that ricocheted and struck his hand," Bethel said.

The officer has been treated and released from Jefferson Hospital. He has been on the force for 33 years.

Bethel said the narcotics team recently got enhanced ballistic vests to go over the top of their vest, as well as ballistic helmets, which officials believe "played a significant role" in protecting the officer.

"It could have been much worse," Mayor Cherelle Parker said. "Our police officers are on the front lines of our city every day and every night, putting their lives on the line."

Bethel said his officers understand this is an inherent danger of the job and that they try to do whatever they can to prepare for these types of situations.

Parker noted that this is the second time she's responded to the ER for the shooting of a police officer since she was sworn in about a month ago.

"This is another reminder of the senseless and all-too-present gun violence here in the city of Philadelphia,' she added.

Bethel noted that officers did not fire back and retreated out of the house. The individual inside then surrendered to police.

Officials say two suspects are already in custody.

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