clear how many weapons 36-year-old gunman Maurice Hill had — or where he got
them — when he fired hundreds of rounds Thursday night, injuring at least six
police officers in Philadelphia’s Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood.
clear is that his extensive criminal history should have prevented Hill from
owning a gun.
Commissioner Richard Ross confirmed Thursday that Hill likely used an AR-15
assault rifle. He also had a handgun, which was in his pocket when he
surrendered to police late Wednesday night after a seven-hour standoff.
Beyond that, Ross said, officers will have to wait until they gain access to
the building where the incident occurred. As of Thursday afternoon, they had
not gotten in, he said, because the tear gas police deployed the night before
had not yet dissipated.
back to 2001, when he turned 18, Hill’s criminal record includes dozens of
charges ranging from narcotics possession, to kidnapping and attempted murder.
He was convicted of felonies for aggravated assault and perjury.
Hill pleaded guilty to four firearms violations, including carrying a firearm
without a license, in a public place, and without a serial number, and was
sentenced to a minimum of nine and a maximum of 18 months in prison, plus two
years’ probation. He was charged over the years with at least 20 other firearms
violations, which were either adjudicated or not pursued by the District
A profile like this is not uncommon. According to the FBI, of the more than 530 people who killed police officers between 2009 and 2018, 40% had been arrested for weapons offenses.
Local and state officials have put forward a range of initiatives in recent months designed to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t be allowed to have them. In June, Mayor Jim Kenney announced that 47 different neighborhood groups would receive a total of $700,000 from the city’s Office of Violence Prevention to combat community violence. [Read More]