After shooting six Philadelphia police officers and engaging in a seven-hour standoff, 36-year-old Maurice Hill surrendered to police. However, it should be noted that not one law kept Hill from obtaining a gun nor using it in a mass shooting of police officers.
First, the story.
CBS Philadelphia reported on the sheer chaos that erupted at the scene:
At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot during a gun battle in Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga section and rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. Two officers and three others who were trapped inside the home with the shooter were safely evacuated several hours after the standoff began. The gunman surrendered just after midnight.
Ross said that the two officers and three others inside the home took fire during the incident.
All six officers wounded in the shooting have been released from the hospital. Another officer injured in a car crash on the way to the scene still remains hospitalized.
Sources tell CBS3 the suspect was live-streaming some of the shootout while he barricaded himself inside the home.
In an additional report by CBS Philadelphia, “Two women and two girls escorted from the scene where six Philadelphia police officers were shot say police saved them after they were trapped inside a Nicetown-Tioga home where the suspected gunman was barricaded inside. They say they were on the second floor at the time of the shootout.”
What’s even sadder is that crowds of people taunted the police officers, laughing at them in the midst of the gunfire.
According to yet another report by CBS Philadelphia, “While Philadelphia police officers were dealing with a gunman who shot six of their own during a standoff at a home in the Nicetown-Tioga section, cops also had to deal with being taunted by some bystanders. CBS3’s Alexandria Hoff reports a crowd of people laughed and yelled at officers in the midst of gunfire during a standoff on Wednesday.”
The reporter was also harassed.
I mentioned this at 10 and since I was harassed during that live shot, I’ll mention it here too. A major moment of disappointment this evening was watching a crowd of people taunt police officers, laughing and yelling at them in the midst of the gunfire. #PhiladelphiaShooting
— Alexandria Hoff (@AlexandriaHoff) August 15, 2019
I should add – 98% of people here on scene were respectful and concerned. That moment was just such a startling thing to see in the middle of something so chaotic.
— Alexandria Hoff (@AlexandriaHoff) August 15, 2019
Hill’s attorney, Shaka Johnson, identified him.
According to CBS Philadelphia:
Johnson says Hill was not injured in the shootout. However, Hill was taken to the hospital for a checkup and released around 3 a.m. Eyewitness News was there as officers escorted him out.
“Maurice called me in a panic, obviously. He did not want this to end violently and he really was sort of taking an opportunity to speak his peace. I told him, ‘You gotta surrender, man,’” Johnson told CBS3’s Greg Argos.
Johnson says he first received a call from Hill around 8:30 p.m., hours after the shooting broke out and the officers were shot.
Hill was released from the hospital after being checked out following his surrender.
Each of the officers who were wounded during the shooting were also released from the hospital on Wednesday evening.
A seventh officer, who was injured in a car crash while responding to the scene, remains in the hospital. That officer’s condition is not known.
Now, we have plenty of laws that are supposed to keep a man from owning a gun, right? We have background checks and all sorts of other unconstitutional “laws” that we have been told are put in place to ensure someone like this can’t obtain a gun.
What do I mean about “someone like this?” According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Hill had a long criminal history and was illegally in possession of a gun.
The Inquirer reported:
Hill’s history in the adult criminal justice system began in 2001 when he was 18 and was arrested with a gun that had an altered serial number.
Public records show that he has been arrested about a dozen times since turning 18, and convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault. He has been in and out of prison; the longest sentence handed him came in 2010, when a federal judge gave him a 55-month term.
And, his record would indicate, he does not like to go to prison. In 2008, he was convicted of escaping, fleeing from police, and resisting arrest. Along the way, he beat criminal charges on everything from kidnapping to attempted murder.
Hill also spent time in federal prison. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations after he was caught with a Smith & Wesson .357 and later a Taurus PT .45 semiautomatic. His prior felony convictions should have barred him from owning those weapons. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced him to four years and seven months in prison.
More recently, Hill was convicted of perjury in 2013 and sentenced to seven years of probation. He appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford Means for three different alleged violations of probation — at least two of them related to new cases, which he later beat.
In one of those cases, Philadelphia police arrested Hill in May 2014, after spotting him driving an unregistered scooter. But when officers tried to stop him, he raced down an alleyway against traffic on a one-way street and then onto a sidewalk, sending pedestrians scattering, court records say. Hill crashed the scooter and then fled on foot but was apprehended. He was charged with driving without a license, recklessly endangering another person, and fleeing police, but later was acquitted on all counts.
Philadelphia police arrested Hill again in October 2014 on charges of drug possession and false imprisonment.
According to court filings, his accuser told police she had agreed to sell marijuana for Hill but then later changed her mind. When he summoned her to his house on the 6900 block of Greenway Street in Southwest Philadelphia days later, she says, she overheard Hill and an associate discussing killing her. Fearful for her life, the woman said, she called 911. When officers arrived, she fled as Hill and his associate hid the crack cocaine and marijuana in a tire out back. Investigators discovered 83 grams of marijuana.
So, what does this teach us? It teaches us that laws do not stop people from committing crimes and they were never designed to do such a thing.
Laws simply draw the line in the sand that when a person crosses that line, in this instance shooting at police officers without any cause to do so, is a crime and thus that is what should be punished, not the acquiring nor possession of a weapon.
Think that through the next time a politician tells you gun confiscation laws work. They don’t.
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