A Philadelphia police officer was shot and killed early Friday morning, hit by gunfire via a closed door as his police unit tried to arrest a homicide suspect within the Frankford part of town, the police stated.
Cpl. James O’Connor, a member of the division’s SWAT staff, was shot close to his left shoulder as he and members of the SWAT and murder staff tried to enter a second-floor room of a constructing simply earlier than 6 a.m., Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stated.
Gunfire burst via a closed door on the officers, Commissioner Outlaw advised reporters Friday outdoors Temple College Hospital, the place Corporal O’Connor was pronounced lifeless at 6:09 a.m.
“These officers didn’t get an opportunity,” she stated. “The gunfire occurred instantly as quickly as they walked via the door.”
One other SWAT officer returned fireplace via the door, putting two males “within the decrease extremities,” Commissioner Outlaw stated. These males have been taken to Einstein and Jefferson Hospitals in secure situation. The particular person sought on the arrest warrant was not shot and was in police custody, Commissioner Outlaw stated. She didn’t title the individuals who have been shot.
Philadelphia’s district legal professional, Larry Krasner, recognized the suspect accused of homicide as Hassan Elliott, 21. He was wished in connection to a theft and homicide that occurred in March 2019, Mr. Krasner stated in a press release.
As phrase of the capturing unfold, dozens of law enforcement officials rushed to Temple College Hospital. Most of the officers have been in tears as they stood outdoors within the rain, hugging and comforting each other.
The mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, additionally arrived and spoke to reporters, his voice breaking as he known as on the general public to hope for Corporal O’Connor’s household.
“It’s a tricky job and so they do the perfect for us each day,” he stated. “This can be a unhealthy day.”
He added in a statement that Corporal O’Connor had “demonstrated the last word type of heroism: placing out his uniform, leaving his household and finishing up his sworn obligation to guard the residents of this metropolis.”
John J. McNesby, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, stated in a press release that Corporal O’Connor got here from a line of law enforcement officials.
“This can be a unhappy and tragic day,” he stated. Corporal O’Connor “served this division and metropolis with dedication, honor and dignity for 23 years. His major focus was to maintain our metropolis secure.”
In a press release, Mr. Krasner, the district legal professional, stated the capturing “underscores the interconnectedness of our companions in legislation enforcement throughout the prison justice system.”
“Our deep reliance and belief in each other doesn’t usually make headlines, however it’s crucial to the security of all communities,” he stated. “Our prosecutors, notably these concerned within the investigation previous immediately’s incident, be a part of the members of the Philadelphia Police Division and the residents of Philadelphia in mourning Corporal O’Connor, and in extending our deep condolences to his family members.”
Mr. Krasner, a former civil rights lawyer who had frequently clashed with the police earlier than his election in 2017, additionally visited the hospital early Friday. A big crowd of officers was standing across the entrance as he arrived, native information footage confirmed.
In short remarks to reporters as he was leaving, Mr. Krasner stated he had come to the hospital to indicate his respect for the officer and his household, and “to indicate how a lot we care about our legislation enforcement officers.”
Mr. Krasner didn’t reply to a reporter’s query about his interplay with the officers outdoors the hospital.
“We’ve had a reasonably critical incident,” he stated of the capturing. “There may be after all an ongoing investigation.”
Mr. McNesby, the police union president, later stated that Mr. Krasner “was not admitted” to the hospital.
Tensions between Mr. Krasner, a former protection legal professional who dedicated to charging fewer defendants, and the police and different legislation enforcement officers have surfaced earlier than.
After six Philadelphia officers have been shot following a standoff with a gunman in August 2019, U.S. Lawyer William M. McSwain sharply criticized Mr. Krasner, who had a long history of suing the police for alleged misconduct.
“There’s a new tradition of disrespect for legislation enforcement on this metropolis that’s promoted and championed by District Lawyer Larry Krasner — and I’m fed up with it,” Mr. McSwain stated in a statement on the time.
Corporal O’Connor, a 23-year veteran of the division, was the daddy of two. His son is an officer within the Police Division and his daughter is within the Air Power, Commissioner Outlaw stated.
“These persons are led to serve,” she stated. “We’re by no means ready for the lack of a beloved one. We actually know once we put this uniform on that it could possibly be the final time that we see our family members. It takes a particular particular person to do that job and that’s who this corporal was.”
Corporal O’Connor’s father served within the Philadelphia Police Division for 40 years, in keeping with the union.
“He was only a nice particular person, a fantastic household man,” Mr. McNesby stated. “He’s the epitome of a very good man who was at all times first in line to attend a fallen officer’s memorial. Now we have now to go and have one for him.”
The final time an officer was killed within the metropolis was March 2015, when Sergeant Robert Wilson III was shot at shut vary throughout an tried theft at a North Philadelphia GameStop. Sergeant Wilson had gone to the shop to purchase a present for his son.
The capturing on Friday befell per week after the police honored Sergeant Wilson in a ceremony for the fifth anniversary of his dying.