Man charged in Philadelphia police officer shooting has shot at cops before, criminal record shows

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Man charged in Philadelphia police officer shooting has shot at cops before, criminal record shows
Criminal records show in 2011, Vazquez fired on officers in Puerto Rico after an alleged carjacking.

PHILADELPHIA -- Criminal records for the man charged with shooting a Philadelphia police officer show that this was not the first time he has opened fire on police.

Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez, 36, is being held on a $12.5 million bail after he allegedly shot and critically wounded a 25th district police officer during a traffic stop in the city's Kensington section over the weekend.

That officer is still fighting for his life in the ICU. His identity has not yet been released at the request of the family, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said.

Officials have said that he is on a respirator after being shot in the neck.

Now, investigators say they're focused on bringing justice.

"I want everyone to understand that what this family is going through is unspeakable. It is unacceptable and we cannot have this in this city," said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Sources told Action News that Saturday's incident was not the first time Vazquez is accused of firing at police.

Criminal records show in 2011, Vazquez fired on officers in Puerto Rico after an alleged carjacking.

As for the incident in Philadelphia, it all started when police stopped the car Vazquez was driving at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the 3500 block of F Street.

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"That night the men and women across the city continued to work and they will never stop doing the charge that they give to this city. We will not be detoured by anyone," Bethel said.

Police learned during the traffic stop that Vazquez did not have a license and said the vehicle was not registered.

Vazquez was able to make a phone call and a short time later, three people showed up to the scene.

The group then was able to remove belongings from the vehicle as officers waited for a tow truck.

During the process, officers say they saw a holster, confronted Vazquez about it but say he took off running.

Investigators say they have video showing what happens next.

"They immediately go in pursuit and attempt to stop him. While he's in the middle of the street, without any provocation, [he] turns and fires three shots toward the officers. We now know his partner fired at least one time during the incident," said Frank Vanore, Deputy Commissioner of Investigations for the Philadelphia Police Department.

One officer was struck by the gunfire, according to police. The injured officer's partner and the tow truck driver then quickly put him into the patrol car to rush him to the hospital.

Police say Vazquez then tried to carjack the driver of a minivan and then entered two homes, holding the second homeowner hostage.

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SWAT surrounded the home and Vazquez was ultimately taken into custody.

Vazquez is facing a slew of charges in connection to both the officer shooting and barricade situation. Some of those charges include two counts of attempted murder of law enforcement, burglary, kidnapping and terroristic threats.

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