PHILADELPHIA – A police officer was shot in the head at a doughnut shop on Wednesday morning, setting off a manhunt by officers on foot, on motorcycles and in the air. He was the third officer shot in the city in four days.
The officer was shot around 10:30 a.m. at a Dunkin' Donuts, according to Officer Raul Malveiro, a police spokesman. The injured officer was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center, but his condition was not immediately known.
Police did not know whether the suspect fled in a vehicle or on foot. They were searching for a heavyset black man, about 5-11, wearing a black hoodie, tan khaki pants and tan boots, Malviero said. Police said the gunman also had a spider web tattoo on his left hand and was carrying another black hoodie with gray stripes.
The shooter also took the officer's gun, Malviero said.
Police swarmed the North Philadelphia neighborhood, combing the area on foot and in squad cars. A police helicopter scoured the ground for any trace of the gunman.
Wednesday's shooting came about 12 hours after a masked gunman shot a police officer in the shoulder during a chase downtown. That gunmen apparently jumped into the Schuylkill River, where searchers later recovered a body. Police said Wednesday morning that they had not determined if it was the suspect's body.
Traffic Officer Mario Santiago responded to a report of shots fired shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday. The gunman was in a sport utility vehicle when he fired at another vehicle, injuring two men and a woman, police said.
Responding to a radio call, Santiago started chasing the SUV. The gunman eventually got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car, firing twice through the window and hitting Santiago once in the right shoulder, police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson said. Santiago was listed in fair condition at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Wednesday, Malviero said.
Early Sunday, an officer responding to a melee at a West Philadelphia nightclub was shot in the ankle. More than two dozen bullets were fired, police said. One suspect was fatally shot and another was arrested.
On Sept. 24, a suspect jumped out of a car during a traffic stop and shot a rookie officer in the face at close range with a sawed-off shotgun. The officer needed reconstructive surgery, but was released from the hospital about a week later.
Also Tuesday, a man who fatally shot a police officer during a robbery attempt at a bar last year pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. In May 2006, Solomon Montgomery fired a shotgun out the back door of the bar, hitting Officer Gary Skerski in the neck.
Skerski's death marked the first killing of an on-duty officer in Philadelphia in more than a decade.