He told reporters after the two were out safely that it was “nothing short of a miracle” that there weren’t multiple officers killed. He praised the SWAT team members who got their colleagues, and three people police identified as “prisoners” of the shooter out of the home unharmed.
Police were imploring the gunman to surrender, at one point patching in his lawyer on the phone with him to try to persuade him to give up, Ross said.
“We’re doing everything within our power to get him to come out,” Ross said, adding: “He has the highest assurance he’s not going to be harmed when he comes out.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was thankful that officers’ injuries weren’t life-threatening.
“I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day,” Kenney said.
‘Barrage of bullets’
People were warned to stay inside their homes and to avoid Nicetown, a north Philadelphia neighbourhood of brick and stone row homes where the shooting began around 4:30 p.m. Shots were still being fired three hours later, police said.
Officers had gone to the home to serve a warrant, according to authorities.
“Many of them had to escape through windows and doors to escape from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.
He added that the shooter continued firing on a SWAT truck parked at the scene in Nicetown as officers tried negotiating with him.
Large police presence
Live video from news stations showed a massive police presence in a neighbourhood with dozens of police cars and officers, many of them with their guns drawn.
Police tried to push crowds of onlookers and residents back from the scene. In police radio broadcasts, officers could be heard calling for backup as reports of officers getting shot poured in.
Dozens of officers on foot lined the streets. Others were in cars and some on horses.
Temple University locked down part of its campus.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its agents responded to the scene to assist Philadelphia police.