Officer fatally shoots home invader in Northwood

A Phil­adelphia po­lice of­ficer came face-to-face with death in North­wood on Fri­day when a sus­pec­ted home in­vader poin­ted a loaded gun at the of­ficer’s head. The cop quickly turned the tables, however, swat­ting away the threat and fatally shoot­ing the al­leged rob­ber dur­ing an ex­change of gun­fire, au­thor­it­ies said.

“He’s very lucky to be alive,” Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles Ram­sey told re­port­ers of the tar­geted of­ficer. “He lit­er­ally had it to his head and [the sus­pect] did fire three times at the of­ficer dur­ing close com­bat.”

The epis­ode un­fol­ded at a house on the 900 block of Wakeling St. at about 12:45 a.m. A couple of masked men re­portedly lay in wait for a couple, poin­ted guns at the vic­tims as they ar­rived home and forced their way in­side. The crooks tripped a se­cur­ity alarm in the pro­cess.

Of­ficers from the 15th dis­trict soon ar­rived at the scene and knocked on the front door. One of the in­truders, hav­ing re­moved his mask, re­portedly answered the knock, but could not show iden­ti­fic­a­tion upon re­quest from the of­ficer. That’s when the wo­man vic­tim went to the door and showed her ID to the of­ficer. When the cop asked if everything was OK, she replied yes while sig­nalling si­lently to the of­ficer that something was amiss. The of­ficer pulled the wo­man from the door­way and entered the foy­er, where one of the in­truders was wait­ing with a gun, which he placed to the of­ficer’s head at point-blank range.

“The of­ficer is left-handed. He used his right hand to move the gun away from his head and the gun dis­charged,” Ram­sey said. “Then they got in­to a struggle, sev­er­al rounds were fired by both and [the of­ficer] was able to take the sus­pect out.”

Med­ics pro­nounced the wounded sus­pect dead at the scene. He was 42. His iden­tity has not been re­leased, al­though a po­lice spokes­man re­portedly said he resided on the 1400 block of Saint Vin­cent St. and had a lengthy crim­in­al re­cord. A second al­leged rob­ber es­caped through the back door and re­mains at large. Po­lice have not re­leased a de­tailed de­scrip­tion of him. Au­thor­it­ies did not identi­fy the of­ficer in­volved in the struggle.

No oth­er in­jur­ies were re­por­ted. Po­lice re­portedly re­covered one gun and a sil­ver Mazda, the sus­pec­ted get­away car, at the scene. ••

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