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October 15, 2023

Police officer Raul Ortiz released from the hospital after being wounded in the airport shootout that killed his partner

A second car wanted in connection with the deadly incident at PHL was recovered by police Saturday as the reward for information increased to $225,000

Investigations Police Shootings
philadelpiha-police.jpg THOM CARROLL/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia Police Officer Raul Ortiz was released from the hospital on Saturday after sustaining injuries in a deadly shootout inside an airport garage that left his parter, Officer Richard Mendez, dead on Thursday night.

The Philadelphia police officer who was injured during the airport garage shootout that left another officer dead last week has been released from the hospital, police said. 

Officer Raul Ortiz was released from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital on Saturday as his colleagues in the police department continued to mourn his partner, officer Richard Mendez, who was killed during the incident at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday night. Ortiz, a 60-year-old officer with over 20 years of experience on the force, was shot in the arm during the confrontation. 
"It's a happy day to see him get out of the hospital knowing he's on the road to recovery as far as his arm, but it's really his mind and his heart that are going to need some time to heal," Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford told reporters on Saturday. "Being involved in a traumatic situation like that has a lasting impact knowing he lost a friend."

Police were still looking for suspects in the deadly shooting as of Sunday morning, as authorities increased the reward for  relevant information to $225,000.

As part of the ongoing investigation, police also recovered a black Dodge charger in Kensington on Saturday, which they believe may be connected to the deadly incident. Another vehicle wanted in connection to the shooting was found torched in South Brunswick, New Jersey early Friday morning, according to multiple local news reports.

The incident happened inside the Terminal D parking garage at PHL on Thursday night, shortly after officers Mendez and Ortiz reported to work. After hearing the sound of glass shattering, Mendez and Ortiz confronted a group of people who were attempting to break into a car, according to police. Mendez was shot multiple times in the upper torso during a struggle with as many as four people, police said. He died a short time later at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Ortiz was shot once in the arm and admitted to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for treatment. 

An 18-year-old man named Jesus Herman Madera-Duran was also killed during the incident. Madera-Duran was dropped off at Children's Hospital in a dark-colored Dodge Durango SUV shortly after the shooting, according to surveillance footage released by police. He died a short time later. 

Authorities said the suspects fled the scene of the shooting in a dark-colored Dodge Durango SUV that had been reported stolen in South Philadelphia a few days earlier. An Apple Air Tag that had been tracking that vehicle's location was apparently removed from the vehicle and discarded on I-95 near Academy Road shortly after the shooting. The Durango, which was apparently set on fire, was found in South Brunswick around 1 a.m. and recovered by police for investigative purposes. 

Officer Mendez's gun, which police believe was stolen during the confrontation, is still unaccounted for, authorities said. 

Police encourage anyone with information related to the shooting to call or text (215) 686-8477.