By Abril Elfi
5:05 PM – Wednesday, February 7, 2024
In East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, two police officers were shot and injured outside of a residence that quickly caught fire.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told reporters that authorities had responded to a report of a shooting that involved an 11-year-old female victim on Wednesday afternoon on Baltimore Pike and Lewis Avenue.
Stollsteimer also informed the press that officers had arrived at the location where they came face-to-face with the shooter, who was still inside the home but ran out abruptly. He then immediately opened fire at both officers.
“I was there, a cop came flying around the corner,” Sharon Johnson, a crossing guard who witnessed the shooting, told NBC10. “He got out and then he’s in front of the house talking to two people. And then all of a sudden I heard six or seven gunshots. Cops got down on the ground and I ran and took off.”
Additional responding Upper Darby police officers then dragged both of the wounded officers to safety as the gunman continued to shoot, investigators said.
“It was because of the Upper Darby Police Department who also responded to that call that these officers are alive today,” Stollsteimer said. “They were dragged out of danger by Upper Darby police officers.”
As more officers arrived at the scene, the house that the gunman had been inside of caught fire as smoke and flames rose from the home.
As additional police, firemen, and a SWAT team arrived on the site, the whole neighborhood block was cleared out.
“Officers were taking gunfire,” Stollsteimer said. “Police officers and the fire department who were out there, there was still shots coming out at the beginning of this fire scene.”
Initially, firefighters were unable to fight the rising flames due to the active shooter situation.
However, the shooter reportedly ran back inside the home and the gunfire stopped. By six o’clock in the evening, firefighters were able to tackle the fire and it was “largely contained,” although smoke was still present.
The two initial officers who arrived at the scene were quickly brought to a hospital and they are now in stable condition.
In a press conference held afterwards, Stollsteimer expressed uncertainty about whether the gunman remained inside the house or if he escaped.
“We’re not going to make entry into that house until we know that the fire is under control and that it’s safe for those officers to go in there,” Stollsteimer said. “We don’t want another single officer hurt tonight in Delaware County.”
Both of the injured officers have 22 years of experience in the police department, serving their community. According to officials, they are still not sure if the first account of an 11-year-old child being shot was even true.
While the investigation is ongoing, police and firemen are currently still present at the scene.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.