A Penn Police officer, a Philadelphia Police sergeant and four civilians were shot Friday night by a gunman who was later killed by police, the Division of Public Safety confirmed early Saturday morning. At least one civilian died after being shot.
The shooting occurred around 52nd and Sansom streets around 11:19 p.m. Friday, outside the Penn Patrol Zone, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said in an interview. Police had set up a perimeter between 47th and 53rd streets and Market and Pine streets as of early Saturday, .
Penn Police officer Ed Miller and Philadelphia Police Sergeant Sylvia Young were among those shot, Rush said. Miller, who has been with the Penn Police department for two years, previously served as a Philadelphia Police officer for 33 years, including time spent as a sergeant. Young, a 19-year veteran, was a sergeant not typically assigned to the 18th District in West Philadelphia, but ended up working on Friday per a special assignment, Rush said. Both officers were reportedly taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and in stable condition early Saturday morning.
“The individual did have some kind of note,” Rush said of the suspect. “Clearly that note was indicative of [the] hatred toward police and other members of law enforcement. He was on a mission to assassinate Sergeant Young and anyone who got in his way.” Rush clarified that there was no indication that Young was personally targeted besides for her status as a law enforcement officer.
Rush confirmed that Young was hit with at least six bullets, some of which were deflected by her ballistic vest. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Young heard at least 15 shots and was struck in the left arm and protective vest. She leaned over to the passenger seat until the shooting stopped, Ross said, and yelled, “Help me, please!” on the police radio.
Saturday afternoon that the gunman, who Ross identified as 25-year-old Nicholas Glenn of West Philadelphia, shot over a dozen rounds into Young’s car. Court records show Glenn has a history of drug-possession convictions, Philly.com reported, and was charged in connection with a gang-related rape in 2009, though those charges were later dropped.
Officers nearby heard gunshots and pursued the suspect to 51st and Sansom streets, Rush said, where the suspect fired into Maximum Level Lounge, a bar at 5118 Sansom St. with an open door, and struck a security guard in the left leg.
After shooting the security guard, the suspect used a female bystander as a “shield,” Rush said, as officers pursued him. The suspect then shot the bystander he was using as a shield in the leg. He then headed east on Sansom Street and shot into a white car, striking a male and female civilian. 6ABC reported that the victims were taken to the hospital, and the woman died, though the man remained in critical condition as of early Saturday. The woman was reportedly in her 20s, according to Philly.com.
“I don’t know what was on his mind, I have no idea,” Ross said in a press conference early Saturday alongside Rush and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
Finally, the suspect entered an alley between Sansom and Walnut streets at 48th Street, and Miller, the Penn Police officer, was the first to enter the alley, Ross said. The commissioner called it “a completely bizarre situation,” and said “there are a lot of unanswered questions.”
Although the shooting occurred out of the Penn Patrol Zone, Miller reported to the scene once an “assist officer” alert was sent out on police radio, Rush said.
“When something huge is going down and a police officer is shot, there’s no greater issue,” Rush said.
Besides the man and woman shot in a car, the status of the other two civilians remains unclear.
Rush clarified that while original reports suggested a second suspect may have been involved, police determined that the slain suspect acted independently.
A Penn Police officer parked on Farragut and Sansom streets told The Daily Pennsylvanian before midnight that students should not go west of Farragut Street, which is west of 45th Street.
According to the police scanner, police were being ordered to ride in pairs around that time.
No UPennAlert was sent out due to the incident having occurred outside of the Penn Patrol Zone.
“It’s five blocks west of our patrol zone,” Rush said. “And at all times this guy was being trailed.” She added that police made sure the suspect, when moving eastbound, was neutralized before reaching the Penn Patrol Zone.
Meanwhile, 1968 Wharton graduate and Republican presidential nominee , “My thoughts and prayers go out to the @PhillyPolice & @Penn police officers - in Philadelphia.” Penn President Amy Gutmann released a statement to Penn undergrads Saturday afternoon noting she had visited the officers shot and they were doing well.
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City News Editor Dan Spinelli and Campus News Editor Caroline Simon contributed reporting.
This article was last updated Sept. 17 at 2:59 p.m.
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