Philadelphia police officer shot, killed
By Rita Giordano, Andrew Maykuth, and Barbara Boyer
INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Another Philadelphia police officer has been gunned down in the line of duty, this time in an apparent shoot-out tonight in front of the Olney Transportation Center.
The officer, whose name was not immediately released, was the first to be killed in the line of duty this year.
The shooting happened shortly after 8 in an exchange of gunfire between two officers and two men near Broad Street and Olney Avenue. What precipitated the violence was not immediately available. There were reports the police officers were responding to a call of a report of a fight on the highway.
The officer was taken to nearby Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 9 p.m.
At the emergency room entrance and inside the hospital tonight, scores of uniformed and nonuniformed officers milled about, some weeping and hugging each other as word spread of the officer's death.
"I don't know what happened. I just know we have one man dead," said John McNesby, president of Lodge Five of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Others gathered there included Larry McDonald, father of Sgt. Patrick McDonald, who was fatally shot in September.
Larry McDonald was at a fund-raiser tonight for another fallen officer, Sgt. Timothy Simpson, when he learned that yet another officer was down. Simpson died Nov. 17, 2008, of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey and Mayor Nutter were also at Einstein comforting the slain officer's family.
In the moments after the shooting, officers flooded the scene looking for one of the suspects and attempting to render aid.
Early police reports indicated that one suspect was taken into custody and the other was taken to Einstein with bullet wounds. The dead officer's partner may have been grazed by a bullet.
The slain officer was assigned to the 35th District.
The area where the shooting took place includes SEPTA's Olney Transportation Center and is near two large high schools.
It also is about a half-mile south of where Officer Charles Cassidy was fatally wounded by gunfire on Oct. 31, 2007, after interrupting a robbery at a doughnut store.
The two other officers killed last year were Officer Isabel Nazario, 40, who died Sept. 5 after her patrol car was struck by a stolen SUV in the Mantua section, and Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, 39, who was killed May 3 by one of three bank robbers after a Saturday morning stickup at a bank office in Port Richmond.