Philadelphia shooting: Mayor calls for gun control

Media caption,
Philadelphia mayor responds after six police officers were shot

The mayor of Philadelphia has joined growing calls for gun control after a shootout in his city left six officers injured as they served a drug warrant.

"Our officers need help," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people's hands."

A gun battle broke out between police and a gunman on Wednesday, leading to a seven-hour stand-off.

The suspect reportedly carried a semi-automatic rifle and several handguns.

Mr Kenney called out politicians for their failure to address the gun crisis and confront the National Rifle Association's powerful gun rights lobby.

Image source, Pacific Press/Getty Images
Image caption,
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has joined calls for gun control

"It's aggravating, it's saddening," Mr Kenney said. "If the state and federal government don't want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us police ourselves."

He added: "Our officers deserve to be protected and they don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets."

US President Donald Trump also weighed in on the shooting, tweeting Thursday morning that the Philadelphia shooting suspect "should never have been allowed on the streets".

"Long sentence - must get much tougher on street crime!" he wrote.

The male suspect, named by US media as 36-year-old Maurice Hill, was taken into custody on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia police officers were serving a warrant at a home in Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tiago neighbourhood when the gunman opened fire at about 16:30 local time (20:30 GMT).

The suspect's lawyer Shaka Johnson told CBS3 he helped police negotiate the surrender.

A Swat team rescued two officers and three civilians who were trapped inside the home with the gunman, police said.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Police urged the gunman to surrender for some hours before the stand-off ended

"It's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

A seventh officer, who was injured in a car crash while responding to the shooting, remains in the hospital.

Media caption,
Police Commissioner Richard Ross addresses the media during the stand-off

A witness told local media she heard more than 100 gunshots and people running for their lives. "They kept us safe the whole time, the whole time, they kept us safe," one woman said of the officers.

The incident comes after two mass shootings - in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio - brought the debate about gun control in the US into sharp focus.