(AP) An off-duty officer was found shot and mortally wounded early Saturday on a North Philadelphia road, police said. He apparently was able to get his gun out of his holster before he was shot, but authorities don't know if he was able to fire.
Police said the 22nd District officer had just gotten off his overnight shift and was not wearing his uniform as he walked along Cecil. B. Moore Avenue. Officials say there was a confrontation with another person just before 6 a.m. and the officer was shot multiple times.
Lt. Raymond Evers said emergency crews who took him to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he died, found his service weapon underneath his body. They are trying to determine whether it was discharged.
The officer's name has not been released pending notification of his family.
Evers said the officer was carrying a backpack and items of value remained inside, but investigators aren't sure whether anything was taken. They aren't yet calling it a robbery and are investigating whether the shooting was related to the victim's status as a police officer.
Police are asking for information from anyone who saw someone running from the scene. They also want people with security cameras facing the street in the area to call them.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey told reporters that the shooting death is a blow for a department that was just mourning the loss of Highway Patrol motorcycle officer Brian Lorenzo, who was killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 last month.
"We literally just removed the mourning bands from our badges last week for Officer Lorenzo, and now it appears we may be putting them right back on again, so it's tough," Ramsey said.
"This department has been through an awful lot," he said. "In just the 4 years that I've been here, this would be the seventh officer we've lost, which is more than some departments get in 20 years."