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Philadelphia police officer hospitalized after Kensington shooting; person of interest in custody

Philadelphia police officer fighting for life after Kensington shooting, suspect in custody
Philadelphia police officer fighting for life after Kensington shooting, suspect in custody 01:51

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Multiple people, including a person of interest, are in custody after a Philadelphia police officer was critically injured in a shooting in Kensington Saturday night, authorities said.

In a press conference Saturday night, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said shortly before 8 p.m., two officers conducted a car stop in the 3500 block of F Street. Officers moved from a car stop to a live stop with the vehicle, which had four people inside, Bethel said.

During the live stop, officers surveyed the car, checking the vehicle's inventory when they spotted a holster. Bethel said a man then began to run from the car, firing three times at the officer as he ran away. 

The officer, a 31-year-old man and a six-year veteran with the Philadelphia Police Department, was struck in the neck. 

"At this point, we do not have any indication that he returned fire, we definitely know his partner did," Bethel said.

The 31-year-old officer was taken to Temple University Hospital and admitted to the surgical ICU Saturday night, Bethel said. On Sunday, investigators said the officer remained in critical condition.

"I often come here with a lot of anger about what my men and women must endure. Today, I come with a different request," Bethel said Saturday. "Today I sat in the auditorium of about 75 to about 100 men from the East Division. And we held hands as Commissioner [John] Stanford brought us together and we prayed for our officer. 

Officials give updates on Philadelphia police officer shot in Kensington 04:53

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker echoed Bethel's remarks, emphasizing the power of prayer. 

"I want you to know that your mayor is a praying mayor and I believe in the power of prayer. And I echo the sentiments of our commissioner, that we need to pray for this Philadelphian serving, protecting the people of our city, doing a noble job under very tough circumstances," Parker said. "His partner, I want us to pray for him as well because he was an act of courage by making sure that our noble law enforcement officer made it here [Temple University Hospital]."

Bethel applauded the investigators' hustle, saying they were able to take all of the individuals in the car into custody, including a person of interest involved in the shooting. Authorities didn't specify how many people were in custody when CBS News Philadelphia asked.

Authorities say a Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and rushed to Temple University Hospital after a shooting in Kensington Saturday night. CBS News Philadelphia

Both Bethel and Parker continued to ask the city to pray for the 31-year-old officer and his partner. 

"Today I ask the people across the city of Philadelphia to pray for our officer, and pray for the men and women who are here today, who were out in the field knowing they were going to give their lives for this job," Bethel said. 

Parker described the officer as a husband, father and son who simply met his partner and went to work to do the job he had been doing for about six and a half years. 

"He didn't expect that he would be in a fight for his life," Parker said. "So Philadelphia, I believe in the power of prayer, I ask that you join us and that's the most we can do right now in hopes that the family gets a certain peace that passes all understanding. To the men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect and serve us, who are still out there right now doing this job, we see you, we appreciate your service."

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