Police officer ‘fighting for his life’ after Kensington shooting, suspect charged

Mayor Parker said the husband, father and six-and-a-half-year veteran of PPD is on life support after Saturday’s shooting.

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Officers at the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia's Kensington section on June 22, 2024. (6abc)

Officers at the scene of a shooting in Philadelphia's Kensington section on June 22, 2024. (6abc)

A Philadelphia Police officer is in critical condition after being shot in the neck during a traffic stop in the city’s Kensington section Saturday.

Police arrested 36-year-old Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez for the shooting that happened in the 3500 block of F Street. According to police, two officers stopped a vehicle with four people inside. Officers reported seeing a gun holster inside the vehicle, which prompted Vazquez to flee the scene, firing three times at officers.

Authorities say the officer was taken to Temple University Hospital for a gunshot wound to the neck. He is the eighth Philadelphia Police officer to be shot in the city in the last eight months.

“I often come here with a lot of anger about what my men and women must endure,” Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference late Saturday. “Today, I sat in an auditorium with about 75 to 100 men from the East Division and we held hands as Commissioner Stanford brought us together and we prayed for our officer.”

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The injured officer has not yet been identified.

Vazquez was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, evading arrest and related offenses.

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker said on X the husband, father and six-and-a-half-year veteran of the department is “on life support” and is “fighting for his life.”

“This Philadelphian serving, protecting the people of our city, doing a noble job under very tough circumstances,” Parker said late Saturday with tears in her eyes. “His partner, I want us to pray for him as well because he was an act of courage by making sure that our noble law enforcement officer made it here.”

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“To the men and women who are putting their lives on the line to protect and serve us, who are still out there right now doing this job, we see you,” Parker said. “We appreciate your service.”

Governor Josh Shapiro also posted a message of support on X for the wounded officer.

Saturday’s incident followed a shooting on Wednesday that left seven people injured in North Philadelphia, including a 16-year-old girl.

As of June 19, there have been 399 nonfatal and 108 fatal shooting victims in Philadelphia this year. According to the police, 123 homicides have been committed so far in 2024, which is a 40% decrease from this day last year.

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