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. ••