A gunman surrendered after a seven-hour standoff that resulted in six police officers being shot and three more being injured.
According to 6ABC of Philadelphia, around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police attempted to serve a narcotics warrant at a home along the 3700 block of North 15th Street in the Tioga-Nicetown section of the city when they entered the home and were met with a barrage of gunfire. Police reportedly had to escape through windows and back doors to escape the house, which was being riddled with bullets.
Two police officers remained trapped inside the home throughout the beginning hours of the standoff, but around 9:20 p.m., they were safely removed.
When the standoff first began, there was chaos outside the house and in the neighborhood. Patrol cars were seen speeding toward the scene, and armored vehicles also made their way to the area.
Police have identified the shooter as 34-year-old Maurice Hill, who has an extensive criminal background history.
Hill was apprehended alive, and that’s largely due to his communication with his lawyer. In the midst of the chaos, Mr. Hill phoned his attorney and told him he was in a “precarious situation.” He then expressed to Johnson he needed help getting out of the situation alive.
“He told me he was barricaded inside this particular property and he was, in fact, part of the news story that I and everyone else had been watching on television,” Johnson said.
Johnson then took immediate action and called Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to ask what needed to be done to get his client out of the situation alive and unharmed.
Attorney Johnson was given an 11:45 p.m. deadline to convince Hill to come out of the house. At that point, Philadelphia police said they were not sure where it would go from there. Johnson told Action News that Hill wanted to live because he has a daughter that was born two days ago, along with with a teenage son and a wife.
While trying to convince Hill to just come out of the house before things went awry, Johnson said to Hill, “‘I’m not going to be on this television, man, and watch you on this TV, on social media, and watch you go out in a blaze of glory. I’m not going to be a part of that. So if you’re not coming out of that house, I’m going to hang up this phone and I’m going to turn the TV off because I’m not going to watch you get killed.”
Hours later, after Johnson arrived, Hill finally walked out of the house and surrendered himself.
Johnson was able to briefly speak with his client before being taken to a Temple hospital for evaluation. He was released in the early morning hours.
“I told him we’d talk much later, I didn’t ask any questions about what happened, what took place, I’m not a psychiatrist; I’m not interested in that,” he said. “All I wanted to do was to speak him from one man to another man, from a father to a father, and someone who appreciates my opinion.”
Johnson also took time to thank the Philadelphia Police Department for taking their time with this situation, noting that he is aware this could have gone completely different.
“I thank the Philadelphia Police Department for being very patient. This could have gone a very different way much earlier in the day, especially with the community putting pressure on them to resume their normal lives. Just standing around and being patient, I’m sure that’s not what a lot of officers wanted, but I thank from command on down for instituting some patience.”
It is believed over 200 shots were fired throughout the standoff. No civilians were hurt.