‘Hands Up! Hands Up!’: Shooting Captured on Police Body Cams

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When SEPTA and Philadelphia police officers arrived on East Somerset Street in the Kensington neighborhood Thursday evening, the first arriving cops rushed into a row house and found a woman with a gunshot to her neck.

Moments later, after more officers arrived, the street would erupt in gunfire.

“Hey yo! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!. Put your f****** hands up!” one officer can be heard yelling via a SEPTA officer’s body camera. (Watch the video above or click here to watch the video and hear the audio.)

Then a barrage of bullets is heard.

The suspect was shot in his right shoulder and both legs. He and the woman, who a family member described as a couple, are both in stable condition at a nearby hospital.

The shooting took place about 7:30 p.m. in the 400 block of East Somerset Street near the Somerset Station of the Market-Frankford elevated train line. The suspect was shot on the front porch of a house three doors away, police said. He allegedly alternately pointed a handgun at his head and at the officers prior to being shot, city police said.

SEPTA police Chief Tom Nestel released some video from body cameras of two of the five responding transit officers. All five officers had body cameras, Nestel said. All of the video wasn’t released, but Nestel said he wanted to release some of the footage so the community could see — and in particular, hear — some of what led to the police-involved shooting.

“Video is sometimes very difficult because in this situation, officers are using tactical advantage, which is cover. And when they’re behind cover for an armed person, that camera is being blocked, by parked vehicles, by poles, by walls,” Nestel said. “But if we don’t put out the video, there might be a jump to a conclusion that what occurred didn’t occur.”

Two city officers and three SEPTA officers fired at the suspect, city police said in a statement. City detectives are investigating the incident, though Nestel said his department is reviewing the incident administratively.

A weapon believed to be the suspect’s was recovered at the scene.

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