Standoff ends with gunfire and hostage-taker wounded

Philadelphia police crime scene unit officers at the scene of a police involved shooting along Amber St. at E. Tabor. This photograph was taken shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning March 22, 2011 (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Daily News)
Philadelphia police crime scene unit officers at the scene of a police involved shooting along Amber St. at E. Tabor. This photograph was taken shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning March 22, 2011 (Alejandro A. Alvarez / Philadelphia Daily News) (Frank Kummer)
Posted: March 22, 2011

A man who took his ex-girlfriend hostage shot himself in the head and then was wounded by police early today, ending a nearly four-hour standoff in North Philadelphia, authorities said.

The 23-year-old gunman was reported in critical but stable condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center with a self-inflicted deep graze wound to the back of the head and a police bullet in his chest, officials said.

The hostage, also 23 and the mother of the gunman's child, was released unharmed before he shot himself in the basement of a home on the 5200 clock of Arbor Street in Olney.

The siege began about 10:55 p.m. Monday, when officers responded to a call for a domestic dispute involving a man threatening his former girlfriend with a gun, said Lt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman.

The 911 call had been made by the woman's brother, who had tried to intercede but fled when the gunman fired at him, Evers said.

A SWAT team was called in and a standoff ensued while hostage negotiators tried to convince the gunman to surrender.

The man released his hostage and around 1:40 a.m. a shot rang out inside the house, police said.

When the gunman did not respond to calls from police, the SWAT team entered the basement in formation and saw the him on the floor apparently wounded but alive with a handgun in his hand, Evers said.

The officers repeatedly told the man to drop the weapon, but when he lifted it toward them, one officer fired, hitting the man in the chest, Evers said. The gunman's pistol also went off.

Police recovered a 9mm semiautomatic handgun with four rounds in the clip as well six spent shell casings, the spokesman said.

Despite the man's wounds, investigators were later able to talk to him at the hospital, Evers said.

Internal Affairs is investigate the shooting, which is standard whenever an officer discharges a weapons.


Contact staff writer Joseph A. Gambardello at online@phillynews.com or 215-854-2443.

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