Southeastern PA

Lawmakers call for change after 6 Philadelphia officers shot

PHILADELPHIA - The shooting that injured six officers in Philadelphia is on the minds of lawmakers across the state, both on the local and federal level.

In response to the gunfire that rang out in north Philadelphia Wednesday, calls for change rang out inside City Hall.

"We can and must do more to protect our officers and all of our citizens," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

He and other city and state lawmakers demanded reforms and regulations to gun laws.

"If we don't see change, gun violence will continue to ravage our communities and tear families apart," Kenney said.

"We've got to start with figuring out ways of getting guns out of the hands of people like the jerk who shot six officers," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wolf was set to sign an executive order aimed at reducing gun violence on Thursday, but postponed the signing out of respect for the injured officers and their families.

The disgust and anger of local leaders was echoed by federal lawmakers, including President Donald Trump, who tweeted about the violent incident.

"It's about time that we have a debate on the floor of the United States Senate, not simply on a background check bill but also on a bill that deals with the weapon itself," said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Philadelphia's police commissioner says the suspected gunman, Maurice Hill, 36, had a military-style AR-15 and a handgun, which he used to fire rounds for hours.

Some senators spoke specifically about those AR-15s.

"A ban on military-style assault weapons, which are weapons of war and should not be on our streets," Casey said.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey released a statement, reading in part, "The shooter who attempted to murder brave Philadelphia police officers (Wednesday) is a convicted felon who had no right to possess a firearm. We can do more to strengthen our gun safety laws and better protect law enforcement."

Hill has not been charged yet, but it's likely he'll face attempted murder and a slew of other charges in Wednesday's shootout.

Police still did not have access to the crime scene Thursday because of the tear gas used, so authorities are not yet sure whether Hill had other weapons inside, police said.


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