PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are beginning their investigation into Wednesday’s shooting that left a total of nine officers injured — six shot. Police who were either injured in the shooting or saw the violence unfold met with investigators to tell them what happened on Thursday.
Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby is crediting teamwork that more officers weren’t hurt in Wednesday’s shooting and that none were killed.
McNesby says the city could be planning six funerals on Thursday, but instead, officers came to the Investigation Unit to provide statements on the incident.
He says everyone should be grateful for the officers’ training and their teamwork.
“Very, very, very, very lucky,” McNesby said.
Lucky because the scene could have been worse.
Shots came from inside a house on North 15th Street, where officers with the Narcotics Unit were serving a warrant on Wednesday afternoon.
McNesby worked in that unit for two decades, and he says they plan for the worst.
“Everybody has an assignment to do and not getting into the details that’s probably how the two guys upstairs were trapped,” he said. “Everybody has an area of the house that they proceed to. When something goes bad — nothing goes as planned — your training kicks in.
“You act on your instinct, you have a tight squad. You know exactly what the other officers in your squad are thinking, what they’re going to do, how they’re going to proceed. You work as a team. You practice things like that. You practice entries. You do different tactical things.”
He says he’s never been in a situation like what happened Wednesday in Nicetown-Tioga.
Maurice Hill surrendered after a seven-hour standoff following multiple exchanges of gunfire.
But McNesby says when officers arrive to serve warrants, they’re usually with eight other officers.
“You sort of gel together — like a normal team,” McNesby said, “and you know exactly what each other is going to do.”
He says officers act on their instincts.
“You don’t think about it. You react. You do what you do best and that’s to make sure your other officers are OK,” McNesby said.
Now that everyone is physically OK, McNesby says the work begins to make sure the officers are mentally OK.
“I don’t even think that today this will kick in. It may not until next week,” he said.
From here, McNesby says the union will offer counseling and someone to talk to for any officers who was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.
The officers are now with their families recovering.