PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We are hearing from the family members of the 18-year-old man who police say shot a SEPTA transit officer and three others this week. Police say he fired on officers at Arrott and Leiper Streets in Frankford.
Family members gathered to remember the alleged shooter.READ MORE: CBS3 SummerFest: Manayunk Arts Festival Returning In Full-Force This Weekend For First Time Since 2019
The suspect’s mother expressed their sympathies to the victims as they search for answers.
“They’re telling this whole story, but we don’t know what the beginning of this was,” relative Karen Harrison said.
Nearly 48 hours after shots were fired from a second-floor window, loved ones of Zyheim Hartman are still trying to piece together how the 18-year-old got into a foot pursuit turned shootout with officers.
“They haven’t said one word as to how this started. We just heard he’s returning fire,” Harrison said.
On Friday, Philadelphia police released an update saying they believe Hartman was involved in a physical altercation that ended when he opened fire, striking a man as well as two female bystanders.READ MORE: Phillies' Bryce Harper Out Indefinitely With Broken Thumb After Being Hit By Pitch In 4-2 Win Over Padres
Moments later, in an exchange from an apartment on Leiper Street, authorities say he became engaged in a gun battle with police and shot SEPTA police officer Ervis Onuzi.
“We can’t downplay it, we can’t sweep it under the rug and act like it never happened. This happened and we can’t undo it and that family and all of those that were involved, it’s unfortunate,” Harrison said.
In a statement, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in part: “I hope for the full recovery of these four victims, and remain grateful that there were no additional injuries to civilians and responding officers. As with all officer-involved shootings, we will ensure that a thorough, complete and objective investigation takes place.”
As the investigation continues, authorities now say Hartman was killed by police gunfire, not by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as police first reported.
Keysha Jones-Hartman says she still hasn’t seen him.
“I still never seen my son. He’s been dead for two or three days and we still don’t know,” Jones-Hartman said.MORE NEWS: Funeral Services For Fallen Philadelphia Firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson Begin Sunday Evening
All of the victims involved are in stable condition.