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Gunman shoots at 9 officers in Philly

The Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — A Group of Philadelphia police officers and two SEPTA cops were involved in separate pulse-pounding incidents yesterday leading to the wounding of two armed men.

Early in the afternoon, a SEPTA police officer shot an unidentified 23-year-old man after he pointed a gun at two SEPTA cops during a wild chase through a subway platform, officials said. The man survived his wound.

And shortly before 8:30 p.m., a gun-toting robbery suspect shot at nine Philadelphia police officers at 53rd and Ludlow streets in West Philadelphia, police said. Four officers returned fire, wounding the unidentified suspect once in the arm. He was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in stable condition, police said. None of the officers was injured.

The incident started at about 8:15 p.m., when two thieves forced a man who had just exited the Market Street El to walk with them. Police officials said one of the robbers shot the man once in the back as they walked down Lindenwood Street near Market. A handful of undercover cops noticed the commotion and gave chase on foot, police said. The chase ended in a shootout on 53rd Street, but no bystanders were injured.

Police said the shooter’s unidentified accomplice also was taken into custody. The robbery victim, meanwhile, was listed in stable condition at HUP. The shooting will be investigated by the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

The SEPTA subway shooting, meanwhile, left plenty of jittered nerves. The incident began when two SEPTA police officers ordered a 23-year-old man to stop riding between train cars and smoking – both of which are illegal actions – said SEPTA spokesman Jim Whitaker.

The man refused to obey the officers, Whitaker said, and they removed him from the train at the Allegheny station shortly before 1 p.m. Afterward, the man broke and ran and pulled a gun as the officers chased him.

One of the officers shot him in the shoulder.

“Riding in between cars is dangerous and smoking is not allowed,” Whitaker said. “He became confrontational and pushed away from the officers and began to run.”

“He then turned around and pulled the gun, and one of the police officers shot him in the shoulder area,” Whitaker said.

The man was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he remained in guarded condition last night. He was arrested, but it was unclear what charges he would face.

Police recovered the weapon he allegedly pointed at the officers.

After the shooting, passengers were escorted off the subway, and the Allegheny station was temporarily shut down while police investigated.

Whitaker said riders traveled via shuttle buses between Girard and Erie avenues, but at about 3 p.m. yesterday service was back to normal.

Copyright 2008 Philadelphia Daily News

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