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Philadelphia Police Officers Wounded In Gunbattle With Barricaded Shooter

Police surround a home in North Philadelphia where a gunman wounded officers who tried to serve a drug warrant.

Updated at 10:44 p.m. ET

Six Philadelphia police officers have been shot and others injured in a gunbattle with a barricaded person in an incident that authorities describe as "active and ongoing." All six officers have been released after treatment at hospitals, a police spokesman said.

A seventh officer remains hospitalized after being hurt in a car crash while rushing to the scene, according to NPR member station WHYY.

Two officers who had been trapped for hours inside the house with the shooter have been freed by a police SWAT team, a police spokesman tweeted late Wednesday. He added that the "suspect is still armed and inside house. Continue to avoid the area."

According to multiple reports, the officers had been trapped on the second floor of the house, and the shooter was on the first.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

In an earlier briefing, Ross said the incident began at about 4:30 p.m. ET as the narcotics unit was serving a warrant in the Nicetown-Tioga section of North Philadelphia. Officers had "already entered the premises and got towards the rear in the kitchen area when gunfire erupted. The shooter fired multiple rounds," he said.

"Officers returned fire, many of whom had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets," he said.

Ross said that police have tried to contact "the male" by phone and with a bullhorn without success.

"Officers are attempting to communicate with the shooter; imploring him to surrender and avoid further injuries," according to a tweet by a member of the police public affairs unit earlier in the day.

Another tweet urged the public to stay away from the area.

Ross said police are doing "everything in our power to get him to come out."

Ross said he has offered the shooter his personal assurance that the shooter won't be harmed when he comes out. "Normally I wouldn't even take this posture, but I have officers in a very volatile situation," he added.

Earlier in the day, police asked the media to move their helicopters away because they were interfering with the operation, and later they asked the media and the public not to send drones into the area.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported earlier may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record, and we'll point to only the best information we have at the time.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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