Philadelphia police officer shot, killed serving warrant
Cpl. James O’Connor, 46, was a 23-year veteran who served for the last 15 years on the SWAT team
By Chris Palmer
The Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia SWAT team officer was shot and killed early Friday while executing a murder warrant in the city’s Frankford section.
Cpl. James O’Connor, 46, is the first officer killed in the line of duty in Philadelphia in five years.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said he was a married father of two, a son who is an officer in the Ninth District and a daughter who is in the Air Force.
He was shot in the shoulder above his bullet proof vest when officers entered the building and bullets blasted through a closed door, Outlaw said.
Two people behind the door were wounded by return fire and are expected to survive. The subject of the warrant for 2019 homicide was taken into custody.
The shooting occurred about 5:50 a.m. on the 1600 block of Bridge Street when police were attempting to serve a warrant.
The officer was taken to Temple University Hospital after the shooting. Mayor Jim Kenney, and District Attorney Larry Krasner joined Outlaw at the medical center on North Broad Street where a large contingent of officers converged immediately after the shooting.
“We just want everybody to know it’s a very sad day, not just for officers here, but it’s a very sad day for the family who is here and who is mourning and is still trying to stomach all this,” Outlaw said.
Added a somber Kenney: “I would just ask everyone to keep this family in their prayers and keep all of our officers and their families in their prayers. It’s a tough job and they do their best for us every day. This is a bad day.”
“There’s not a word that you can put on the level of emotion that’s being felt right now," said Outlaw, in her third month as the city’s top cop. "As expected, it’s a whirlwind of emotions. These are people that leave their families, their loved ones, during holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, to protect complete strangers and to do work that’s a calling. These people are led to serve.”
Kenney ordered all City of Philadelphia flags to be flown at half-staff for 30 days in O’Connor’s memory.
A large police presence remained on Bridge Street, including helmeted SWAT officers, after the shooting.
The officer is the first to be fatally wounded in the line of duty since March 5, 2015, when Police Officer Robert Wilson III was killed in gun battle with a pair of robbers inside a North Philadelphia video game store.
The shooting also was the third in 18 months in which police officers were wounded serving warrants.