Philadelphia SWAT officer killed in Frankford

Cpl. James O’Connor IV
PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT

A Philadelphia SWAT team officer was fatally shot Friday in the Frankford section of the city.

The officer, Cpl. James O’Connor IV, 46, was trying to arrest a man who was suspected of committing murder in 2019.

Inquirer.com reports that O’Connor was struck in the shoulder and the arm after a person started to shoot from a close the door on a second-floor bedroom.

It was reported that O’Connor has been on the force for 23-years. He was a married father of two. His father was a city cop, and his son is an officer in Philly. His daughter serves in the air force, according to Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

Inquirer.com reports that it was the first time in five years that a Philly officer was shot in the line of duty.

“We just want everybody to know it’s a very sad day, not just for officers here, but it’s a very sad day for the family, who is here and who is mourning and is still trying to stomach all this,” Outlaw told outlets outside Temple University Hospital. O’Connor died in the hospital. He was pronounced dead at 6:09 a.m. on Friday.

Mayor Jim Kenney shared a statement regarding the death, which read, “I am grief-stricken to learn of the tragic death of Philadelphia Police Corporal James O’Connor. Today, like every day, he demonstrated the ultimate form of heroism: putting out his uniform, leaving his family and carrying out his sworn duty to protect the residents of this city. I share my deepest condolences with those who knew and loved Corporal O’Connor. I ask all Philadelphians to keep his family and all members of the Police Department in your prayers at this difficult time.”

It was reported that the shooting incident took place within the 1600 block Bridge Street at 5:40 a.m. O’Connor was with other Special Weapons and Tactics officers, members of the homicide fugitive task force during the incident.

Inquirer.com reported that officers were serving a warrant for Hassan Elliott, 21. Elliot was wanted for a March 2019 murder and robbery, which took place around the corner from the house.

Before officers could reach him, bullets started to fly.

It was reported that O’Connor’s colleagues returned fire. Two people from behind the door where the gunfire was coming were injured. Khalif Sears, 18, was one of them, and he was a second suspect allegedly involved in the 2019 incident.

Inquirer.com reported Sears was hospitalized and is expected to survive. Sears will be facing murder charges. It was reported that there were four others in the house at the time of the incident. One was struck by gunfire but treated and released into police custody.

Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said that investigators found nine firearms and drugs in the house.

Elliot, who was the target of officials, was arrested at least twice in recent years. It was reported that Elliot’s crime record began in 2017, and he was arrested for gun and drug offenses. He plead guilty in 2018 and was sentenced to nine to 23 months in jail. He was immediately paroled for three years, according to records.

In January 2019, he was arrested for drug possession, Jane Roh, spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office told Inqurier.com. It was reported that Elliot was in court on Feb. 6, 2019, and Mar. 1, 2019.

It is believed that Elliot left court on March 1, and participated in the shooting death of Tyree Tyrone on the 5300 block of Duffield Street in Frankford, Inquirer.com reported.

Officials issued a warrant for his arrest on March 26, but Elliot did not show up to court. The drug case was dropped; it was scheduled for trial on March 27. It was dropped because the homicide warrant was a more serious charge.

To honor O’Connor, all City of Philadelphia flags will be flown at half-staff for 30 days, according to a release.

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