Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner announced criminal charges against the man who shot a Philly cop in the leg on Wednesday morning, along with the rival he was feuding with moments before the shooting.
“Everything indicates the officer’s actions were not only completely appropriate, they were heroic,” Krasner said of Philly cop Paul Sulock at a press conference on Friday in the lobby of the DA’s office.
Sulock was on duty and in uniform in Kensington when he interrupted a stand-off between two suspects before one of them turned and shot him in the leg. Despite being shot, Sulock chased down and detained one man involved in the encounter, who has not yet been identified.
Sulock was allegedly shot by Jerome Hill, of the 500 block of East Fischer Street. Hill is now charged with attempted murder, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault. Video evidence and witness testimony implicates Hill as the shooter, Krasner said.
Hill’s alleged opponent in the stand-off that Sulock interrupted, James Gauthney, 19, of the 6200 block of Crittenden Street, is charged with hindering apprehension, obstruction of justice and unsworn falsification.
Sulock, a 10-year veteran of the force, currently assigned to the 24th District, limped out of Temple University Hospital on Thursday to a crowd of saluting fellow officers to head home, recovering from a gunshot to the leg.
Philadelphia Police Officer Paul Sulock was shot in the leg on Nov. 7 while interrupting a stand-off between two men. Police say Jerome Hill shot him. (PPD)
Police and prosecutors say he came upon the two men, crouched behind cars in what appeared to be a stand-off, and at least one, Hill, had a visible handgun. Krasner said Hill had also previously pistol-whipped another man, but Krasner did not specify their involvement in the altercation.
Hill is being held in custody on more than $3 million bail, as requested by Krasner’s office. He would need to post 10 percent, $300,000, to be released from custody.
“This is an extremely serious case in which someone turns and fires at a Philadelphia police officer,” Krasner responded to questions about why such high cash bail was requested. “I don’t see any problem with that. … I think it is extremely serious when anyone brandishes a weapon on the street – but how much more serious when police arrive on the scene to make peace, and you turn and fire at them?”
Krasner said they would request $1 million bail in Gauthney’s case and noted that the case still under investigation and additional charges were possible.
Philly police commissioner Richard Ross previously said Sulock acted “with valor.”
“They no doubt interrupted a shooting that was what was going to happen,” Ross said on Wednesday after the shooting. “They probably saved the life of the guy who ended up shooting him. And that’s ironic.”
Asked to comment on his relationship with the Philadelphia Police Department on Friday – Krasner has taken intense criticism from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 for positions in some cases, including charging ex-police officer Ryan Pownall with murder for the fatal shooting of David Jones, who was unarmed and fleeing at the time – the DA asserted that he has a “great relationship” with the police commissioner and rank-and-file.
“We are gonna call balls and strikes. If we believe that someone is trying to harm a police officer and they are doing so with out any lawful basis, we take that incredibly seriously, but we also take it incredibly seriously if we believe there has been a crime committed by a police officer,” Krasner said. “What we are doing by assisting and lifting up police officers but also holding those among them accountable is we are elevating the position of the honest, heroic, hardworking, decent police officer, and I don’t know why anybody would have a problem with that.”