By Walt Hunter, Mark Abrams, Steve Beck, Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia police officer is in critical condition after being shot in the stomach during a struggle with a suspect inside a corner store Tuesday.
The shooting happened at about 11:55 a.m. near 4th and Annsbury Streets in the city’s Feltonville section.
According to Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross (at right in photo below), the incident began near 5th Street and Allegheny Avenue, when an officer pulled over a car for a broken taillight.
Investigators say the driver, identified by police as 31-year-old Eric Torres, was initially evasive as the officer tried to obtain his license and registration, and then suddenly drove off at a high rate of speed.
The officer pursued the suspect, but lost him. Then, calls to 911 revealed that a suspect had run into the Almonte Mini Market, a convenience store at 4th and Annsbury Streets.
Ross said a number of officers responded, and a “violent struggle” with the suspect ensued inside the store.
During the struggle, a 25th District officer, identified by police as 41-year-old Officer Edward Davies, was shot in the stomach, below his bulletproof vest.
Officer Davies, a 41-year-old, married, six-year veteran of the force, was rushed to Temple University Hospital where is listed in critical condition. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Davies suffered “life-threatening injuries” and will require multiples surgeries.
Torres was taken into custody shortly after the incident. He was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center with minor injuries. Ramsey said Torres has 12 prior arrests, including several that were for assaulting officers.
Investigators say a weapon, a .45 caliber glock, was found at the scene. Ramsey said the gun was reported stolen during a robbery in June 2012. It was not immediately known if Torres was connected to that robbery.
Search for clues and more evidence from the Feltonville home of the alleged gunman who shot and injured Officer Edward Davies, according to sources, turned up bags and boxes of drugs. Eyewitness News is told investigators seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of heroine packed and ready for sale, in addition to a gun and the suspect’s car.
Torres is facing charges of Attempted Murder, Assault, Violation of Uniform Firearms Act and other related charges.
Ramsey said he will do everything in his power to make sure Torres does not “see the light of day again.”
Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter rushed to Temple Hospital along with the officer’s family. The mayor made a short statement outside the hospital alluding to the dangers that all officers on street patrol face on a daily basis.