Some members of the crowd that gathered outside the scene of the Philadelphia shooting of six police officers laughed and taunted at police as they were trying to get the gunman to come out of the house where he was barricaded.
That’s according to journalist Alexandria Hoff of CBS Philadelphia, who was at the scene.
Writing on Twitter, Hoff expressed disapointment at what she witnessed and indicated she was also harassed at the standoff scene, which broke out when police say Maurice Hill, a felon with a lengthy criminal history, opened fire on officers who were serving a narcotics search warrant.
A video also emerged that showed people yelling at police officers (you can see a van belonging to the daycare near the shooting scene in the video. None of the children was harmed.) People also screamed profanities at cops at the scene.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hoff Wrote That People in the Crowd Taunted, Yelled & Laughed at Police ‘in the Midst of the Gunfire’
Hoff posted two tweets that described the situation, which eventually ended when Hill (above on his Facebook page) surrendered.
“I mentioned this at 10 and since I was harassed during that live shot, I’ll mention it here too. A major moment of disappointment this evening was watching a crowd of people taunt police officers, laughing and yelling at them in the midst of the gunfire. #PhiladelphiaShooting,” she wrote on Twitter.
“I should add – 98% of people here on scene were respectful and concerned. That moment was just such a startling thing to see in the middle of something so chaotic,” she added.
Although the officers did not suffer life-threatening injuries, for hours the situation was dangerous and very volatile, according to the police commissioner.
Police have not yet released the suspect’s name. The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper cited police sources for its report, and CBS Philadelphia also reported that the suspect in the more than 7-hour long standoff is Maurice Hill, attributing the information to his lawyer. Just after midnight, police announced: “Suspect is in custody. SWAT is still clearing the house.”
As a felon, Maurice Hill was legally barred from possessing a firearm; he was previously convicted in federal court of illegally doing just that (being a felon in possession of a firearm). You can read Maurice Hill’s extremely lengthy state criminal history here. Over the years, many criminal charges ended up not being prosecuted by authorities, including firearms offenses and accusations of reckless endangerment.
The mayor used the shooting press conference to highlight gun control issues.
“Our officers need help…. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping weapons out of these people’s hands,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. “This government, federal and state’s level, doesn’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals.”
The terrifying incident could have been much worse, as officers were pinned inside the dwelling while the suspect was still firing for a time and one officer suffered a wound to his head.
The police commissioner said he hadn’t seen anything like it “in years.”
In the August 14, 2019 shooting, police dispatch audio indicated at one point that the gunman was in a kitchen shooting at officers up through the floor. An officer on the dispatch audio says the suspect was “shooting from inside a kitchen. Shooting upwards and forwards from the position of the police.” Officers were pinned down inside the home at one point, according to the audio.
Video showed officers crouched down behind their police vehicles.
READ NEXT: Maurice Hill’s Background.