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An off-duty Philadelphia police officer was shot in the leg in South Philly by an armed man with motorcycle club ties

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By Michael Tanenbaum
PhillyVoice Staff

An off-duty Philadelphia police officer was shot in the leg in South Philly on Friday morning by an armed man inside a CVS, police said. Lt. Robert Friel, 48, is receiving treatment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The alleged gunman has been identified as a 50-year-old armed man who was reported missing late Thursday night and who had been expressing suicidal thoughts. It is believed the man was under the influence of narcotics, police said. He was armed with two handguns and a rifle, police said.

At around 6:45 a.m., Friel spotted the unidentified man outside the CVS store near South 10th Street and Passyunk Avenue. The store is located near the 3rd District police station. Friel had just finished his shift.

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When Freil and other officers confronted the suspect, there was a struggle. The police and the missing man ended up inside the CVS store, where the missing man opened fire, shooting Friel in the leg. The man also grabbed Friehl’s service weapon and fired a shot at the ground, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Friday morning.

The armed man eventually was subdued and taken into custody. Friel, a 28-year veteran of the department, was transported to the hospital and placed in stable condition. There were no other injuries reported.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said an investigation is ongoing, but he expects the shooter will face criminal charges.

“… (W)hat I can say at this time is that this was a volatile situation that could have had a much more catastrophic outcome,” Krasner said. “Lieutenant Friel’s injuries are extremely serious. My heart goes out to him and his family for their long road to healing ahead.”

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The Philadelphia police officer shooting was part of a violent 24 hours in the city that included six shootings that killed two people and injured nine.

“This is a frequency of violence that no other wealthy nation tolerates,” Krasner said, “because they do not have the deep poverty and easy availability of firearms that we do in this country. Many people in very powerful offices claim to abhor violence, but they are awfully silent when it comes to the violence of poverty and the tyranny of the gun lobby. As a city, a commonwealth, and a nation, we simply must do better.”

Friel’s brother, Joseph Friel, was a Philadelphia police officer, and he was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 4, 1994, when his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver as he was driving on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough. Officer Joseph Friel had graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy six months earlier.

In December, police marked the 25th anniversary of Officer Joseph Friel’s death, and Lt. Robert Friel spoke during the ceremony.

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The incident comes amid heightened tension between police and communities across the countries following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was killed by police during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd’s death has sparked large demonstrations and chaos in parts of Minneapolis, as well as protests around the United States, as the FBI and Department of Justice investigate the incident.

Outlaw addressed Floyd’s death in a statement on Thursday evening.

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“Although the tragedy occurred hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia, the impact is felt all over the nation and world, particularly in black and brown communities,” Outlaw said. “Throughout the nation, communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired. As a member of the noble law enforcement profession, I know that those of us who work earnestly to serve all communities with fairness and sincerity, have grown weary of our efforts being stained by the actions of those who commit these inhumane acts.”

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5 comments

  1. Every L.E. Officer in the USA Needs to be mentally Evaluated
    FOR Hidden unkniwn Psy issues.
    L.E. should never Hire a Vet. Esp those frim Combat areas etc. Their trained to Descimate Kill and Destroy. Some don’t know the difference between Us and The enemy. We Are Not The Enemy! That Black Man was Murdered. Cops study Jujitsu as I am a 5th Master in GoDan and 3 other areas. That right FOOT Was the Key. It was Waived Loose and all The Weight was on The Left knee on The Victims Neck. Damn That Pig! Racist bastsrd while other cops didn’t attempt to stop him. 1st Degree Murder. And the rest need to charged and locked the Hell up.
    There are Americans say 80% don’t trust The not Our Law Officers. They took an Oath To Serve and Protect. Yet Their Agenda is To Fucking Occupy and Control. What is A Good Cop? Beats the Fuck out of Me.
    As A 100% Supportor Of All MC Bruhs really need to 1st cone Tigether and Watch each others Backs. Blacks and myself as A Native American? We Will NEVER TRUST ANY L E. “”NEVER!””
    Finger pointing B.S Bloggers who slam Bruhs they’ve never met or Don’t know should know this. A Finger is like the barrel of a Gun. Pull that lame ass trigger and your no better than the Pig WHO Killed George.
    May His family find Solice and Heart through their tragic loss. May We All realise. Cops are Fucking Cops. Their All Dirty.
    Preacher

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  2. So! Where’s My Comment?
    1st amendment comes 1st.
    Yes I bashed L E. For damn good reasons. I’m no idiot. Ant blogger who thinks DOJ Or Other L.E. Doesn’t monitor F T. Comnents has a doughnut for a Fucking Brain. Show my last comment please. Pteacher

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  3. Ok. O.S.
    SETTING HERE WAITING FOR ANOTHER BS MESSAGE FROM YOUR LAME ASS.
    AS A NATIVE SHAMON/ SAVANT!
    IF I HAD TO CHOOSE JUST WHO AND WHAT THE FUCK YOU REALLY ARE?
    LETS LEAVE IT TO THE FOLLOWERS TO DECIDE THAT SHIT CAUSE I THINK YOUR A WANTA BE WHOS SEEN HIS BETTER DAYS. I LOVE MY BRUHS AND YOYR INSULTING BS GOT MY ATTENTION AS WELL AS MY BRUHS IN ARIXONA SC NC TNN CAL. MASS AND RUSSIA. I’M A WELL RESPECTED O.G. WHO DOESN’T CARE FOR “ANY” L E.
    I WOULDN’T TRUST YOU AROUND MY SON OR MY JUNK YARD DOGS. OLD SHIT.
    PREACHER

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  4. Where the Fuck is Yours?
    I’m 81 Supportor 100%.
    I opted not to ride a trike after VA Drs MUSC Put me in Critical Care Unit in 2009. 2 Major Back Surgeries in 3 Fucking Days Destroyed my Left Perpherial Nerve causing masdive Neuropathy Spasms left Leg niw the Right as Well.
    As To My Association Affiliation With MC? I take A Stand for 81 But I’m held to A Code OF Silence etc. Ant MC who doesn’t is MC period. I read blogs from alleged Members of MC But I Damn sure don’t tead what Club THEY Are A Member of nor any mention of Their Affiliation. And Your lame Ass writes that BS! What? Hiding in the Wings or Under Them? No It’s You whom doesn’t speak up as so many don’t. Well I Do and its 81 and I don’t use some vague Nick Nack Name to hide my Association ler alone how to fucking find my ass. Any 5th grader can take mt gmail address and with a Fn laptop locate me in a click Huh. Hum O.S or what the Fuck I’m out front and Boldly so.
    Like I said. I’m preacher and I do Funerals. Now eat your oat meal and go the fuck to sleep.
    Preacher. 81

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