PHILADELPHIA – At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot in a standoff on Wednesday and another two were trapped inside the house the gunman was holed up in North Philly before being safely freed hours later, officials said.
More than five hours after the gunfire began, the officers in the house with the shooter were evacuated by police SWAT team members, a police spokesperson tweeted around 9:40 p.m.
“Suspect is still armed and inside house. Continue to avoid the area,” the spokesman, Sgt. Eric Gripp, said.
About 30 minutes before that message, he said the situation remained active and that “the suspect remains barricaded as PPD Officers continue to attempt to communicate with him.”
A large police presence responded to a shooting incident in a residential area of the Nicetown section of the city. One male shooter was still inside a residence in what police described as an active situation.
A police spokesperson told NBC News that the incident began when an officer attempted to serve a warrant at the address.
Officers took cover behind cars and blocked off surrounding streets as they were fired upon by the unidentified shooter.
A Philadelphia Police Department spokesperson told NBC News that “several” officers were injured in the exchange and described the scene as “an active and ongoing incident.” The spokesman said in a tweet Wednesday that five officers were shot and taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
A witness who lived close to the shooting told NBC Philadelphia that she heard a series of shots fired, what felt like 100 gunshots, and could smell what seemed to be gunpowder before police arrived to the scene. The unidentified woman told NBC Philadelphia that it felt “like a war.”
The nearby campus for Temple University’s Health Sciences Center is under lockdown as the situation unfolds.
SEPTA, the city’s public transit provider, reported that it will temporarily bypass Hunting Park, Erie, and Allegheny stations, all located in the surrounding area of the shooting.
No other information was immediately available.
This story will be updated.