A 32-year-old police officer was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after being shot twice Wednesday afternoon during a traffic stop in West Philadelphia, police said.
The shooting happened just before 3:40 p.m. on the 200 block of North 60th Street, police said. The officer was driven by his partner to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. He was described at the hospital as conscious and talking.
On Wednesday night, police said three people had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
The officer was reported to be out of surgery and in stable condition, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 said on Twitter just after 8 p.m.
The 19th District officer, who has been on the force for five years, initially reported that he believed he had been shot twice and had been hit in the chest. Police later said he had been shot twice in the abdomen.
At a news conference outside the hospital, First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford said the injured officer and his partner were involved in a vehicle investigation when one of the occupants of the vehicle started shooting. The injured officer’s partner returned fire, Stanford said.
The vehicle, described as a silver Lexus, was later located unoccupied, police said.
Stanford said he didn’t know the reason for the initial investigation.
“It’s a very dangerous and difficult job done by very brave people,” Mayor Jim Kenney said at a news conference outside the hospital Wednesday evening.
“They go out every day to try to keep us safe, put their lives in harm’s way and their health in harm’s way,” Kenney said. “We can’t really repay them for doing that kind of work. Our prayers are with the officer and all of our officers to make sure that he recovers and they stay safe.”
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who was attending a police conference in Washington, D.C., traveled back to Philadelphia after learning about the shooting.
She provided an update at the hospital Wednesday night, saying there were three occupants in the vehicle when it was stopped before the shooting.
“We have two of the three car occupants in custody right now,” Outlaw said.
A police source later said the third person had been taken into custody.
Some of the injured officer’s family members were at the hospital, but the officer’s name was being withheld until more family members had been notified, Stanford said.
Police asked anyone with information about the suspects to call 215-686-TIPS.
The last time a Philadelphia police officer was shot was in October when three officers were wounded while executing a warrant in North Philadelphia. The shooter was killed in the ensuing gun battle.
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