Aunt of suspect killed in Philadelphia SWAT shootout speaks out

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Three Philadelphia SWAT officers were shot Wednesday morning while serving an arrest warrant in North Philadelphia. The officers returned fire, striking and killing a 19-year-old wanted for a homicide.

On that street, neighbors say their kids dropped to the floor when they heard the shots, and directly next door, one of those bullets went into the bedroom of a little girl. The suspect who fired at police was wanted for murder.

Officers came under fire early Wednesday morning in the 800 block of North 10th Street in the city’s West Poplar section as SWAT officers were serving a warrant for 19-year-old Raheem Lee, who was wanted for murder and multiple armed robberies.

“I was getting ready to come out the door,” Elaine Fowler said, “but I heard ‘boom, boom, boom,’ so I came back in my house and shut the door.”

Police say Lee started shooting through a window and the front door around 6 a.m. Three officers were hit. Then, police claim Lee tried running out of the back door and started shooting at officers waiting behind the home. They fired back, hitting Lee in the head.

Lee was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital.

“He lost his way, and I don’t know how he winded up picking up a gun and thinking it’s OK,” Lee’s aunt said. “It’s not OK.”

Lee’s aunt tells Eyewitness News that the teen had a troubled past and almost gave up on life after she says his dad accidentally killed his older brother.

“It’s heartbreaking because he’s so young,” she said. “He was either going to get killed or live the rest of his life in jail because he was out here taking lives for no reason.”

Third SWAT officer shot while serving warrant in West Poplar still recovering in hospital


The district attorney says Lee was wanted for the murder of 34-year-old Theodore Bell back on Aug. 21.

Bell was shot while sitting inside a Range Rover.

Police spent hours processing this scene Wednesday, where at least 40 shots were fired.

Neighbors on the block say it sounded like a war zone.

“It needs to stop,” Yasmine Beyah said. “The world needs to try get healing and pray. Pray more.”

Police Commissioner Outlaw is in a conference in Texas, but she spoke with the officers over the phone Wednesday morning thanking them for their bravery and continued service to the city.

This case remains under investigation.

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