Philadelphia House Delegation commends courage of police after six officers shot, calls for sensible gun reform to get guns off the street

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., chairman of the Philadelphia Delegation in the PA House of Representatives, along with delegation members, on Thursday commended the courage and service of the Philadelphia Police Department after six officers were shot, and others were injured during a shootout Wednesday.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day that they go to work and serve their community,” Dawkins said. “They know the dangers they face when they put on their uniform, head out the door, leaving their families behind, to serve and protect us.”

A gunman began firing shots around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when police were at a house in the 3700 block of North 15th Street in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia to serve an arrest warrant, according to news reports. Six officers were shot, all of them were eventually treated at the hospital and released, and the gunman was taken into custody after a 71/2-hour standoff.

“The officers who were injured in this heinous act will have the Philadelphia House Delegation’s full support as they recover,” Dawkins said, adding “We must do all we can to prevent such senseless acts of gun violence in the future. We must do more to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals.”

Dawkins pointed to the more than two dozen gun reform measures that could be voted on today as steps to take to reduce gun violence and access to guns.

“I am thankful that the six officers who were injured are expected to recover, and that there were no fatalities of officers or residents,” Rep. Rosita Youngblood said. “I commend the authorities for their professionalism throughout this whole ordeal and for bringing it to a peaceful conclusion.”

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta said he, too, was grateful the violence Wednesday ended without the loss of life or any additional injury to the suspect, officers or the public.

“I was at the hospital last night for hours and saw the bravery of our officers and medical professionals firsthand,” Kenyatta said. “I also saw the anguish of having to deal with yet another shooting in our beloved city. North Philly is a beautiful community of hardworking folks and this is not why we should be receiving national media attention.”

Kenyatta called on Harrisburg and Washington to take sensible gun reform measures. “Our city, state and country are in crisis,” he said. “Further delay would be criminal.”

State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler said the police and first responders involved in Wednesday’s incident, and their families, were in her thoughts.

She noted that the tragedy of six police officers being shot could have been even worse.

“A daycare near this incident was on lockdown while the shooting was happening, leaving parents in fear,” Fiedler said. “As a mother, I can only imagine how harrowing it was for the parents who had to wait hours to know for certain their children were safe.

“No parent or grandparent should fear a child could be shot,” Fiedler said. “Many families live every day in fear of a shooting on their block. There are too many guns. Until we change our laws, the violence, fear and deaths will continue. Our neighbors deserve better. And so do our children.”

Dawkins reiterated his support for the Philadelphia Police Department, particularly those officers injured Wednesday.

“We stand with those brave officers, and we stand with the people of Philadelphia as we work toward reducing and hopefully one day eliminating gun violence in our city,” Dawkins said. “We have the opportunity before us to take some measures to reduce gun violence in our city and across the commonwealth. We owe it to those who found themselves in harm’s way to at least try to stem this violence.”