PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says the suspected gunman who shot six Philadelphia police officers during a seven-hour standoff on Wednesday “should not have been out on the streets.” Maurice Hill, 36, was taken into custody shortly after midnight in the Nicetown-Tioga section of the city.
The gun battle and standoff began around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when officers were executing a narcotics warrant on the 3700 block of North 15th Street. At one point, two officers and three others were holed up inside the home with the gunman.
“I think it’s clear this man should not have been on the streets in the sense that he was obviously a tremendous danger to the public and to law enforcement,” Krasner said. “I think it’s clear this man should not have been on the streets in the sense that he was obviously a tremendous danger to the public and to law enforcement. But if you’re asking me do I believe that everybody in the system going back to 2007 and up until the present has a crystal ball, I do not.”
He continued, “We could, for example, ask the head of the FOP, who has been in office since 2007 what efforts he saw, and whether he had a crystal ball about this. We could also ask various commissioners, many of whom I deeply admire whether they had a crystal ball. So I don’t think it’s fair to expect some level of perfect knowledge on the part of police or prosecutors, but it is obvious, looking at the actions taken here that this was someone who needed to be off the streets and it is also clear that he had a very lengthy criminal record going back quite some time.”
The Philadelphia DA says that there have been no prosecutions under his watch in regards to Hill, who has a long criminal history dating back to the early 2000s, including drugs, guns and robbery charges. The alleged gunman’s most recent case conviction was in 2012.
Hill has yet to be charged in Wednesday’s shootings and standoff because the investigation is ongoing, but Krasner says he will most likely face charges of attempted murder and aggravated assault, among others.
“There will be a lot of charges. These are more than enough charges so that Mr. Maurice Hill may never exit jail,” Krasner said.
Krasner also explained that he talked to Hill during the standoff after the suspect’s lawyer, Shaka Johnson, reached out to him. At one point, Krasner said he was on the phone with Hill, Johnson, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
Krasner said Hill was concerned he was going to be killed by police if he came out.
“Mr. Johnson patched me in and we both spoke to Maurice Hill who at that time, in my opinion, was in a very animated, excited, frankly dangerous state,” Krasner said.
Krasner continued, “I did what I could. I am not hostage negotiator, I have no such training. Neither is Mr. Johnson, but we were doing what we could to try to level the volume to bring more calm about to bring him to a rational decision.”
Krasner said it was not his actions that led the suspect to surrender but the suspect ultimately did just that, but also after the Philadelphia police commissioner stepped in. He called it “brilliant policing and maybe a little bit of a miracle.”
All six officers struck by gunfire during the shootout have been released from the hospital.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)