Less than a week after officers in Los Angeles fell victim to an ambush-style shooting, it’s happened again in Philadelphia. This time two gunmen opened fire on three plain clothes officers in the city’s Cedarbrook section Friday night.
Philadelphia Gunmen Ambush Undercover Officers
Police named an alleged suspect in the shooting, 28-year-old Jeffione Thomas. He remains wanted on charges of attempted murder, violation of the Uniform Firearms Act, and related offenses, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to Thomas’ arrest, then doubled it to $10,000 shortly thereafter.
The incident began when officers parked in an unmarked car heard shooting nearby. When they saw the suspect ride up slowly on a bicycle, they engaged him.
“As they are driving alongside him, he’s riding slow, and because of the officers hearing the gunshots shortly before, they roll down the window to ask if he’s ok,” said Sgt. Eric Gripp. “The male cursed at the officers … and pulled the gun from his waistband and began firing.”
Police say bullets struck the vehicle several times. Finally, the officers’ vehicle rolled up on a sidewalk into a fence, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. Officers got out of the vehicle and two of them opened fire.
Then, adding to the chaos, a second male began shooting toward the officers. In the ensuing melee both suspects managed to escape, according to police.
“It’s outrageous and disgusting when two thugs think it’s OK to open fire on three undercover narcotics officers,” said FOP president John McNesby in a statement, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Our officers were ambushed for simply doing their jobs, working to get drugs and guns off our streets.”
Police said at least one bullet came through the driver’s seat. But a ballistic vest stopped it from penetrating the officer, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. A second officer sustained cuts from fragments. Officials said both officers remained in stable condition. The third officer avoided injury.