SEPTA officer shot while providing cover for Philadelphia officer during gun battle

"He drew his assault weapon and charged forward, yelling to the officer to go," recalled SEPTA Transit Police Chief Nestel.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A SEPTA police officer was shot on Wednesday night while trying to get another officer to safety during a shootout with an armed suspect.

He has been identified as 28-year-old Ervis Onuzi, a three-year veteran of the force.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle issued a statement on Officer Onuzi on Thursday morning:

"I'm beyond grateful that the brave SEPTA police officer will recover physically from last night's attack. Far too often, we have taken the long walk from hospital bays towards the cameras to share news of our colleagues' conditions. (SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel) and I are only a week removed from standing in formation at the funerals of our brothers, Pennsylvania State Police Troopers Mack and Sisca. While I hope we never have to take that walk again, there is always a sense of joy when we can share news that our colleague will make it. May God bless all of our brave officers."

The chaotic situation quickly unfolded around 7 p.m. Wednesday after a shooting suspect barricaded himself inside the Renehan House Apartments on the 4700 block of Leiper Street and started firing at police officers.

A Philadelphia police officer became pinned down by a small wall during the barrage of gunfire, police say. That's when Officer Onuzi, who is also a member of the SWAT unit, jumped in to help.

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A SEPTA police officer was shot on Wednesday night while trying to get another officer to safety during a confrontation with an armed gunman.

"He drew his assault weapon and charged forward, yelling to the officer to go, and he was covering that officer as he got shot," said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel.

SEE ALSO: Gunman found dead inside Philadelphia home after shooting SEPTA officer, 2 women
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A gunman accused of shooting two women and a SEPTA police officer on Wednesday night was found dead after a barricade situation in Philadelphia's Frankford neighborhood.

Onuzi was shot at least one time in the abdomen. He was rushed to Temple University Hospital where he underwent surgery; he was placed in critical but stable condition.

Nestel says the officer is expected to make a full recovery.

After the officer was rushed to Temple University Hospital, officers swarmed the ER in support and solidarity.

Officials like Mayor Jim Kenney, Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Attorney General Josh Shapiro and SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards came to check on the officer's condition.

Applause broke out among the group of officers around 9:30 p.m. when Onuzi came out of surgery and was able to FaceTime his colleagues. He even managed to give a thumbs up.

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This was the big moment of relief for fellow officers waiting outside the ER.The injured SEPTA officer gave a thumbs up while on FaceTime after surgery.

Nestel commended the officer's heroic actions.

"There are so many fantastic police officers out there. It doesn't matter the patch they wear and the badge that's on their chest. Police officers do this stuff when their brothers and sisters are in danger. It's what all of us as police leaders almost learn to expect, but the heroism and courage and valor that these folks exhibit every day is humbling," said Nestel.

The gunman is accused of shooting two women. They were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Police say the gunman was found inside the apartment building dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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