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National
Philadelphia police shooting: Suspected gunman 'should not have been on the streets,' DA says
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Philadelphia police shooting: Suspected gunman 'should not have been on the streets,' DA says

WATCH: Police officers shot in Philadelphia

Philadelphia police shooting: Suspected gunman 'should not have been on the streets,' DA says

A gunman opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in a Philadelphia neighborhood, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the evening, authorities said.

>> Read more trending news 

Police arrested Maurice Hill, 36, just after midnight.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 15: Authorities are holding a news conference Thursday afternoon to provide updates on the investigation into the hourslong standoff one day earlier that left six police officers injured.

Update 1 p.m. EDT Aug. 15: Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner told reporters Thursday that Hill fired more than 100 rounds during an hourslong standoff one day earlier. Six police officers were injured before he surrendered, authorities said.

Krasner said Hill had yet to be charged Thursday afternoon, but that he will face "more than enough charges, so Mr. Maurice Hill may never exit jail."

Update 12:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 15: Authorities are holding a news conference Thursday to update the public on Wednesday's officer-involved shooting and standoff.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said the suspected gunman, identified as Hill, "should not have been on the streets," but he added that authorities had no "crystal ball" to predict his behavior.

Krasner said Hill has an extensive criminal history, including having faced drug, gun and robbery charges.

Update 7:23 a.m. EDT Aug. 15: More information has been released about the man who is accused of shooting six police officers in Philadelphia Wednesday. 

Police identified the man as 34-year-old Maurice Hill, WTXF reported

After Hill surrendered he was taken to temple University Hospital where he was treated and released to police, WCAU reported.

Hill has a long criminal history with at least a dozen arrests since he turned 18. He was convicted in 2002 on charges including illegal possession of guns and aggravated assault, according to WTXF.

In 2013, he was convicted of perjury and sentenced to seven months' probation, WTXF reported.

The charges Hill faces after Wednesday's standoff and shooting have not been released.

However, his attorney, Shaka Johnson, told WCAU that his client will probably face six counts of attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.

 

The standoff has spurred Philadelphia's mayor to speak out against gun violence in the country. 

"It's aggravating. It's saddening," Mayor Jim Kenney said during a news conference according to WCAU. "It's just something we need to do something about. And if the state and federal government doesn't want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us police ourselves. But they preempt us on all kinds of gun control legislation." 

Kenny added, "They (the police) don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for four hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets. It's disgusting, and we've got to do something about it. And we need to do something about it quickly."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf had been scheduled to sign an executive order Thursday to reduce gun violence. But the signing has been postponed to a later, undetermined date, WCAU reported.

Update 12:18 a.m. EDT Aug. 15: The gunman is now in custody following a standoff that lasted for hours, Philadelphia police said. Video from the scene showed a suspect with his hands up. 

Update 11 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: Police say all six officers wounded by gunfire from a man who has barricaded himself inside a north Philadelphia building have been released from the hospital.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross says "it's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today."

Update 9:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: Police say two officers who were in a building with a gunman barricaded inside a northern Philadelphia home have been “safely evacuated” by a police SWAT team.

Sgt. Eric Gripp said shortly after 9:30 p.m. that the suspect was “still armed and inside” the house.

There was no immediate word on how the officers were freed. 

Update 9 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: Police say an hourslong standoff with a gunman barricaded inside a northern Philadelphia home is continuing into the night as the shooter ignores officers.

Commissioner Richard Ross said during a Wednesday night news conference the "very volatile" situation is still unfolding.

Ross said officers were serving a narcotics warrant at the home and had already entered when gunfire erupted. Ross said the gunman fired multiple rounds and officers returned fire. He said many "had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets."

Two officers remained inside the home, but Ross says he believes they are OK.

Ross said officers have been calling the gunman and he has picked up but did not speak to them.

Update 8 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that he believes the suspect is still alive because he is still firing in a press briefing Wednesday evening. 

Update 7:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 14: Police are attempting to communicate with the suspect.

Original report:  According to WTXF-TV, two police officers are barricaded in the home with the shooter. 

Sgt. Eric Gripp tweeted that the suspect is still firing. He also said that all six officers who were shot are at area hospitals with non life threatening injuries.

Video shows a massive police presence in a neighborhood with dozens of police cars and officers, many of them with their guns drawn.

One police officer was injured in a crash while responding to the incident, according to WTXF-TV.

Gunshots are continuing to be heard late Wednesday afternoon.

It is unknown if the suspected shooter has been apprehended.
Please check back for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Philadelphia police shooting: At least 5 officers shot

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  • Health officials in Illinois said Friday that a person who was hospitalized with lung problems after vaping has died in what might be the first death linked to e-cigarettes and similar devices in the United States. >> Read more trending news  The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that the unidentified individual, who was between 17 and 38 years old, had been hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness shortly after vaping. 'The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,' Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said Friday. In Illinois alone, health officials said at least 22 people between the ages of 17 and 38 have experienced respiratory illnesses after vaping. Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived Tuesday in Illinois to help state health officials investigate, Ezike said. In a statement released Wednesday, officials with the CDC said that between June 28 and Aug. 20, nearly 150 cases of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes were reported in 15 states. Health officials continue to investigate the illnesses. According to the CDC, no specific product or compound has been linked to all of the cases and it remained unclear Friday whether the cases shared a common cause. Poison control officials have been concerned about exposure to vaping products, including e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, in recent years due to the high concentration of nicotine when compared with other tobacco products, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Association officials said that as of July 31, poison control centers have managed 2,439 cases connected to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine this year. Last year, officials fielded 2,470 such cases, according to figures from the association.
  • Officials have put a name to a woman whose skeletal remains were found off a Louisiana highway nearly 39 years ago, and two men have been charged with killing her. Leo Laird, 64, and Gary Joseph Haymon, 54, both of Oakdale, have been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape and aggravated kidnapping, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office. Laird was arrested Aug. 14 on the charges and is being held in lieu of $1 million bond on the kidnapping and rape charges. There is no bail on the murder charge, jail records show. Haymon is currently serving a 49-year prison sentence for kidnapping, robbery and public bribery. Sheriff’s Office officials said in a news release that arrangements have been made to transfer him from the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport to Rapides Parish to face the new charges. Laird and Haymon are accused of killing Donna Gayle Brazzell, 18, whose remains were found Nov. 5, 1980, in a wooded area off Louisiana Highway 28 West near Gardner. Brazzell had been living in the Alexandria and Pineville areas at the time of her death, authorities said. Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton told the Town Talk in Alexandria that a man was rabbit hunting with his beagles when one of the dogs began baying. The hunter initially thought a rabbit had grabbed the dog’s attention. “He went over there, and it was a skull,” Hilton told the newspaper. A pair of socks and a clump of hair were found with the bones, the sheriff said. >> Read more trending news  Though it took nearly four decades to identify Brazzell and her alleged killers, Hilton said she was never forgotten. Hilton was the lead detective assigned to the case in 1980 when the bones were discovered. “These cases never, ever leave a policeman’s mind,” Hilton told KALB in Alexandria. 'They prey on you all the time. Especially cases like this, that you never solve.” Investigators turned to Louisiana State University’s Repository for Missing and Unidentified Persons, known as the FACES Lab, to help identify the remains. According to the lab’s website, LSU’s Department of Geography and Anthropology has been offering forensic anthropology services to law enforcement since the late 1970s. The formal lab was established in the 1990s. Since it’s inception, it has begun working with law enforcement agencies across the country. In a statement on its Facebook page, FACES lab officials commended law enforcement for identifying Brazzell and solving her homicide. “It was only through the hard work of the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office and Louisiana State Police Crime Lab that we were finally able to solve one of our oldest unidentified persons cases,” the statement said. The lab was able to establish that the bones found near Gardner belonged to a white woman between 16 and 21 years old. Her remains had been exposed to the elements for at least two months and up to one or more years. FACES obtained a DNA sample from the remains and kept it stored over the years, the Sheriff’s Office news release said. “FACES composed a reconstruction of the victim’s skull, which provided investigators a likeness of the victim,” the news release said. “A photograph of the reconstruction was later placed on the repository’s website. Over the years, it would be shared on many other web-based sites, along with social media sites.” As the decades rolled by, the case remained unsolved. In 2014, however, detectives received information pointing to Laird and Haymon as potential suspects in Brazzell’s death. Hilton told KALB that the case heated up again in July when a Pineville woman called investigators to say she recognized the face of the unidentified woman. The woman was Brazzell’s grandmother, Hilton said. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicated the woman spotted her granddaughter on its “Help ID Me” Facebook page. Detectives collected a DNA sample from Brazzell’s grandmother and compared it to that of the remains. The results confirmed the older woman’s suspicions. Authorities have not said what evidence links Laird and Haymon to Brazzell’s slaying. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced Brazzell’s identification on its main Facebook page Monday. “Thank you to everyone that shared this Jane Doe’s information over the years,” the post read. “Your attention and efforts helped give Donna back her name!” Rapides Parish detectives said the homicide investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.
  • Two weeks after WOKV reported that Jacksonville city leaders were looking to up the sakes for the fan experience around the annual Florida-Georgia game, Mayor Lenny Curry and other dignitaries on Friday announced the inaugural Bold City Bash.  The big weekend will begin with an exhibition baseball game between the Gators and Bulldogs at the Baseball Grounds on Friday, November 1st.  Following the exhibition game, country music star Brett Young and other special guests will perform, followed by fireworks. 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Philip Randolph Blvd.], and incorporating the Baseball Grounds and some of the different things on APR, including private businesses that are in the food and entertainment business, to try to connect them all together in a way that offers that whole area of the Sports and Entertainment District as a location for multiple events,” said Jacksonville’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes. Hughes said the intention is to activate this area for several days leading up to the game for both family-friendly activities and nightlife, with everything from live music to street vendors. WOKV started asking about the enhanced fan experience, after seeing a boost in a special events subfund in Mayor Curry’s proposed $1.4 billion budget. While the City plans to do the same annual events it hosts every year, like the Hall of Fame luncheon, they’re proposing budgeting several hundred thousand dollars more than last year in order to execute this vision. The budget proposal includes an addition over last year of more than $440,000 for miscellaneous Florida/Georgia expenses relating to event services and $75,000 in equipment rentals corresponding with the increase in services, among other areas. The exact price tag for the Bold City Bash was not yet available.  Fans will be encouraged to ‘activate’ during The Block Party along Adams Street and A. Philip Randolph Blvd. Live entertainment, food trucks, a beer garden and free giveaways will be part of the fanfare experience.  Per the game contract, all parties are currently in the first negotiation window, which goes up until a few days prior to this year’s game. The final game under this current contract is in 2021, but Brian Hughes says all parties are having productive talks, and he hopes to be able to work out a deal that extends the game in Jacksonville for many years to come. “We anticipate getting to the finish line,” he says. The last contract extension was for five years and gave the teams a combined $2.75 million in payments and incentives over the course of the contract, including annual guaranteed payments, travel expenses, and more. There are limited direct revenue opportunities for the City, like through the operation of concessions and Daily’s Place. The direct costs to the City, meanwhile, have continued to climb over the years, with this new enhanced fan experience being the latest element- since Hughes says it is intended that this be an annual event. In addition to the price of running the stadium operations, the cost of tickets for the game has increased, and the City is obligated under the contract to buy 1,000 each year. The City is reimbursing the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair $80,000 this year relating to costs they will incur because they agreed to delay the opening of the Fair by a week to avoid a conflict with the game. Additionally, the City is paying the Jags nearly $380,000 to acknowledge revenue the team is losing because of the impact of the temporary seating construction on their available tickets to sell for their game the weekend prior to FL/GA. The cost of constructing temporary bleachers at TIAA Bank Field to meet the contractual seating obligation for the game is a little more than $2.4 million this year, with the Jaguars reimbursing about $310,000 relating to the construction in the Club Levels. That number varies some year to year, and could see an increase soon, as the contract with the current vendor expires and negotiations are ongoing in relation to an extension. Hughes says the cost of the event is well worth it, considering the impact on the city. “Jacksonville gets a lot of benefit from it. 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The Administration is in the process of putting the finishing touches on an economic development agreement that will reflect around $233.3 million in City incentives for the $450 million development of Lot J at the stadium in to a mixed-use site with entertainment, office, hotel, and residential space. While that deal is still pending approval by the Downtown Investment Authority and the City Council, another project that is moving forward is the removal of the Hart Bridge ramps by the stadium. All of this will mean construction likely affecting the next couple of games after the 2019 one, but Hughes says it will be worth the hassle. “Ultimately, a couple of years on the other side of it, I think people will be amazed at how well both Jaguars games and other events in that area and the Florida/Georgia tradition will kind of fit together down there very well,” he says. The Mayor’s budget proposal- and the included funding for this enhanced fan experience complex- is still pending the vetting and approval of the Jacksonville City Council. A final vote will take place ahead of the start of the Fiscal Year October 1st.
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  • The active search for Brian McCluney and Justin Walker by the Coast Guard and Jacksonville Fire and Rescue has come to an end after the men went missing a week ago off the Space Coast during a boating trip. Randy Wyse, the President of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters says it has been a hard week. We were hoping for a better outcome. Wyse says the community and volunteers have been phenomenal with the search and fundraiser. More than $150,000 has been raised and Wyse says the money is growing every hour but now the expenses are starting to come in. We promised we would cover fuel for boats and planes. Volunteers are being asked to bring their reimbursement receipts to the Command Post. Once the money gets situated, the money left over will go to the family members of McCluney and Walker. Wyse tells WOKV they will not be involved or funding any private searches, but the families can do whatever they wish with the money. Click here, if you wish to donate. 

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