Gunfire draws huge police response to Center City apartment building

Mike DeNardo
February 18, 2020 - 1:34 pm
Center City police barricade

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 4:15 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Gunfire at a Center City high-rise apartment building drew a major police response Tuesday afternoon. Officers arrived to find the gunman had killed himself.

It was just before 1 p.m. when Philadelphia police got several calls for shots fired on the 18th floor of The Sterling Apartments at 18th Street and JFK Boulevard. 

Police Staff Inspector Sekou Kinebrew says a 66-year-old man met arriving officers and told them his roommate got into an argument with a third man, and may have fired a gun. 

He says the roommate, who was in his 30s, apparently fired two shots from a .40-caliber handgun. 

Kinebrew says one went out the window and the man then killed himself with a shot to the head. 

Police closed JFK Boulevard and ordered people off the sidewalks in the area.

"That's why we took the precautions that we did and took as much real estate in closing off the scene," he said. "Obviously, a bullet can travel a mile unimpeded. So we wanted to make sure we — we didn't quite take a mile but we took as much as feasible to make sure everyone was safe."

Kinebrew says the one shot out the window did not injure anyone. He says the third man in the apartment was not there when police arrived, but says officers would like to talk with him.

The barricade was only a few blocks away from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, where the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was installing its new archbishop. About 2,000 people were in attendance.

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KYW Newsradio's Kristen Johanson contributed to this report.