PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Over the past week, the Delaware Valley saw a series of troubling acts of violence against police officers. The incidents spanned Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Two men are charged with the arson of a patrol car parked on the 2100 block of South Simpson Street in Southwest Philadelphia around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. No one was hurt, but the car has extensive damage.
“It just goes with the times that our job is becoming more and more dangerous each day,” said Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd, public information officer for the New Castle County Police Department.
New Castle County Police are looking for Khairon Edwards, 22, who is now charged with attempted murder. Eckerd said Edwards fired shots at officers who were trying to question him about an earlier shots fired incident on North Thistle Way in the Glasgow Pines community of Newark, Delaware, on Saturday afternoon.
“He ran, and they followed in pursuit and all we heard was a gunshot and everybody went running,” said LynnAnne Pruitt, who witnessed the incident.
“During that foot chase, the suspect turned around and fired shots at the officers,” Eckerd said. “The officers were not struck, the officers did not fire back, return fire, but they did lose sight of the subject.”
Back in Philadelphia on Friday around 8 p.m., a bulletproof vest saved the life of a plainclothes officer, who was driving a car with two other officers near Sharpnack and Fayette Streets in West Oak Lane. Sgt. Eric Gripp said a bicyclist pulled up alongside the officers’ car and opened fire.
“The officers exited their vehicle after they were fired upon and began to return fire at the individual that shot at them,” Gripp said. “While that was happening, another male further down the street began firing at the officers as well.”
Philadelphia police identified Jeffione Thomas, 28, as the man on the bicycle. Police are still looking for him and the other unknown suspect.
Also on the run are two gunmen who fired shots into the home of two married Camden County police officers Tuesday night, as their newborn baby slept inside. No one was hit.
Chief Joseph Wysocki said the gunmen were riding in a 1998 black Honda Odyssey, which was recovered on Thursday.
“The whole neighborhood knows that they are police officers,” Wysocki said. “These gunmen went directly to their house and shot this house up and targeted them.”
The reward money for information leading to arrests in the Camden County shooting is now at $75,000. Anyone with information can call the Citizens Crime Commission anonymously at (215) 546-TIPS (8477).