Gunman Dead After SEPTA Transit Officer, 3 Others Shot In Philadelphia's Frankford Section, Police Say
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A SEPTA transit officer and two women were shot by a suspect in Philadelphia's Frankford section Wednesday night. It happened near Leiper and Arrott Streets around 7 p.m.
Sources tell CBS3 a third person was also shot in the chaos. The victim, who was hit in the neck, showed up to Frankford Hospital.
SEPTA identified the officer shot as Ervis Onuzi. He was shot in the stomach.
The 28-year-old has been on the force for three years and remains at Temple University Hospital in stable condition. There's no word yet on when he'll be released. Onuzi is also a member of the SWAT team.
Officers, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney all made their way to the hospital to await word on his condition.
Nestel described Onuzi as a "great police officer."
Philadelphia and SEPTA transit police gathered to rally around their injured brother and to be together as a sign of solidarity.
Those gathered cheered as Onuzi came out of surgery and FaceTimed with those assembled.
A SEPTA police spokesman says the city's gun violence has shaken officers but it won't stop them from doing their job.
"It's what all of us as police leaders almost learn to expect, but the heroism and courage and valor that these folks exhibit every day is humbling," Nestel said.
The rousing applause and clapping punctuated what could have been a much different scene.
According to Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp, the incident began when police officers on patrol in the area heard gunshots.
Two civilian women were shot -- a 57-year-old and a 42-year-old are both in stable condition. They were both hit in the hip area. Police say they're unsure at this time why the shooter shot those two women, setting the entire thing into motion.
The patrolling officers then chased the suspect into an apartment building on the 4700 block of Leiper Street.
Chopper 3 was over the scene as a large police presence swarmed the area. Sources with the SWAT team say it was utter chaos.
Police say the suspect fired shots from the second and third floor of the building at officers. That's when the Onuzi was struck.
Authorities say he was shot while covering another officer who was being shot at.
Authorities say multiple Philadelphia police officers returned fire.
According to police, the suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the second floor of the building. A weapon was recovered.
Nobody inside the building was hurt.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with this brave SEPTA police officer who sustained this injury," Gripp said, "and here we are again on another night in our city and just, this completely and totally unacceptable and reckless gun violence nearly took three innocent people's lives. We're so grateful that it wasn't worse than it was."
Neighbors were frightened and described hearing a barrage of bullets rip through their neighborhood during that gun battle.
"You just heard pow, pow, pow, like somebody had machine guns or grenades or something just back and forth. And then the cops came," Nola Brady said. said.
Nola Brady was getting into her truck, about to leave for work Wednesday evening when a hail of gunfire erupted just steps away in Frankford.
"Everybody is just ducking and there's kids, telling them to run. Then they're shooting at the cops again and here go the helicopters. It was just crazy," Brady said.
A mother said she was feeding her child at the time when bullets began flying.
"This is a damn shame, this is out of control when we got babies on the blocks. We got families that live here. And you're just running around shooting people?" Cali Williams said.
Yellow crime scene tape stretched across much of the area as others were trying to get home from work. Others were in bed to get up early for work.
"It woke me up out of my sleep. I came out to see what was going on and this is what I come outside to, the street barricaded off," a man said.
Officials say the El has reopened.
CBS3's Ross DiMattei, Joe Holden, Siafa Lewis, and Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.
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