Multiple police officers were shot in an hours-long firefight in Philadelphia on Wednesday evening

By Helen Murphy
August 15, 2019 11:32 AM

While an hours-long firefight between Philadelphia police and a gunman unfolded on Wednesday, the city’s mayor made an emotional plea for gun violence prevention and accused lawmakers of not wanting to “stand up” to the National Rifle Association.

“Our officers need help,” Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters during a rainy outdoor news conference. “They need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”

“This government, both on federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals,” he continued.

“It’s aggravating, it’s saddening. It’s something we need to do something about,” Kenney, 61, added. “If the state and the federal government don’t want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us police ourselves.”

Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock

The mayor continued: “Our officers deserve to be protected and they don’t deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets. It’s disgusting and we’ve got to do something about it … we need to do something about it quickly.”

On Wednesday afternoon, six Philadelphia police officers were shot upon responding to a home in a North Philadelphia neighborhood.

All six officers have since been released from the area hospitals, while the two who were inside the residence with the shooter were freed by a SWAT team during the hours-long standoff, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, the shooter, who barricaded himself inside the home from police, was taken into custody.

RELATED: Multiple Police Officers Shot in Philadelphia Firefight as Suspect Refuses to Stop Shooting

Just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Philadelphia police spokesman Eric Gripp wrote on Twitter, “Shooting situation ACTIVE and ONGOING on 3700 15th St. Avoid Area. Several PPD Officers have been injured. Updates will be provided as received.”

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By 7 p.m., Gripp confirmed that six officers had been shot and authorities were attempting to communicate with the suspect, who was “refusing to come out peacefully.”

Just after midnight, Gripp announced the suspect was in custody.

Police have not identified the suspect. Charges have not been announced.

Calls to the Philadelphia Police Department and the Mayor’s Office were not immediately returned on Wednesday evening.

In a statement to PEOPLE, the FBI said, “We’re in communication with our partners at the Philadelphia Police Department and ready to assist if needed.”

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