3 SWAT team officers shot in Philadelphia

Three SWAT team officers were shot Wednesday morning in Philadelphia.

The officers were hit by gunfire during a barricade situation in the city’s West Poplar neighborhood around 6 a.m., according to KYW-TV.

A civilian was also shot in the head during the incident and was being treated at the hospital. It was unknown if he was a suspect, the report said.

An overhead view of the crime scene in a residential area
The 6 a.m. shooting underscored Philly’s gun violence epidemic that has taken center stage in the race to fill the state’s open US Senate seat.

All three of the officers were in stable condition at a local hospital, the outlet reported.

The incident underscored the gun violence epidemic in the City of Brotherly Love, where murders have soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Philadelphia police had reported 424 homicides in 2022 through Wednesday, marking a 2% decrease from last year’s record-high murder rate, but a 58% increase since 2019. In comparison, New York City — home to nearly six times as many people as Philly — had recorded only 334 murders so far this year.

Emergency crews are on the scene
Murders have soared in Philadelphia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issue of crime in Pennsylvania had taken center stage in the contest for the state’s hotly contested US Senate seat, now held by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.

Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television personality, had recently gained ground in the polls against Democratic candidate John Fetterman, whom he has branded “soft on crime” in political attacks.

Oz, 62 had pointed to Fetterman’s prior endorsement of progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who is facing impeachment by state GOP lawmakers over his “willful refusal … to enforce existing laws.”

Emergency crews are on the scene
All three of the officers were in stable condition at a local hospital, according to KYW-TV.

Fetterman, 53, the state’s lieutenant governor, shot back at Oz’s claims during a campaign stop in Philly on Tuesday, championing a stretch of six murder-free years he served as mayor of Braddock, a small town outside Pittsburgh, and doubling down on his work as an advocate for wrongfully convicted criminals, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Fetterman’s 9 percentage-point summertime lead over the Donald Trump-backed political novice had recently shrunk to 3.7 percentage points, according to Real Clear Average, and the race — once an assured win for Democrats — was now a “toss-up,” the Cook Report said last week.

Per: NYP

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