Police dodge hail of bullets in North Philly

Posted: March 09, 2014

A BARRAGE of bullets greeted officers late Thursday as they patrolled an increasingly dangerous section of North Philadelphia, police said.

Just before midnight yesterday, two Highway Patrol officers in a marked cruiser heard multiple gunshots and saw muzzle flashes from two guns as they drove along 13th Street toward Cambria, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Ballistic evidence from the scene shows that at least 27 shots were fired in the cruiser's direction, Small said, but none hit the vehicle as it approached the shooters.

Eighteen of the shots, however, struck six vehicles parked at the north end of the block. No one was injured, but a woman parking her van moments before the gunfire erupted fled for cover when two bullets smashed through her windshield.

"The driver's door was still open with the lights on when officers got to the scene," Small said.

A 19-year-old man was seen fleeing the area, and led the officers on a two-block chase before being arrested. He was taken to East Detectives for questioning and remained in police custody last night. No information was available on a second shooter.

Investigators later found two handguns, apparently used in the incident, stashed underneath parked cars on 13th Street.

The motive in the shooting is unclear, and it's not certain that the gunmen were deliberately targeting the officers, who were in the area because of increased reports of shootings and other violence, Small said.

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