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September 24, 2017

Police: Officer fired shots after spotting laser dot on uniform

Officials say suspects approached police during theft investigation

Investgiation Police
Philadelphia Police officer cruiser Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A Philadelphia police car.

Philadelphia police are searching for two suspects after an officer fired shots Saturday night in response to the appearance of a laser point on his uniform. 

In a statement, Philadelphia police said the incident occurred in the 2300 block of N. 13th Street as two 22nd District officers responded to a complaint of a cell phone theft. 

A preliminary investigation revealed that the complainant in the cell phone theft was in contact with the alleged thief, who was offering to sell the phone back at 13th and York Street. 

As the officers conversed with the complainant in his vehicle, two unidentified black males allegedly approached the car from behind. One of the officers noticed a "laser dot" on his uniform that appeared to be indicative of a firearm with an attached laser sight, police said. 

Both officers reported hearing multiple gunshots and retreated north on 13th Street. When one of the officers fell to the ground, investigators said he drew his gun and fired six shots in the direction of the two men. 

Officials said both men fled the scene on foot and there were no signs that either of them was struck by police gunfire. 

Nearby the scene, investigators recovered a firearm magazine containing six .380 caliber cartridges. 

One of the suspects was described as a black male wearing a white t-shirt and pants. The second suspect was described as a black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. 

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police at 215-686-3220.