ABOVE PHOTO: This undated photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department shows police officer Jaison Potts, who was shot in the face Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, while helping fellow SWAT officers serve a warrant at a house in Philadelphia. (Philadelphia Police Department)
A man who apparently mistakenly thought his home was being broken into opened fire on Philadelphia police as they sought to serve an arrest warrant for his grandson, critically wounding one officer before he was killed by return fire, the police commissioner said.
A woman in the Germantown home was also shot.
“This is an all-out, absolute tragedy all the way around,” Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters Monday afternoon.
It happened in the 4800 block of Knox Street on Monday morning.
Police say they repeatedly announced themselves, but 59-year-old Ricardo Giddings’s family says they never heard anything except someone trying to break into the house.
That’s when the gunfight erupted.
“My dad thought that someone was breaking in. So, he has a registered firearm and he did shoot,” said Laquisha Johnson.
Johnson says her father fired four shots at police. SWAT fired five shots back, killing the homeowner and hitting Johnson’s mother, 67-year-old Joanne Giddings, in the leg.
Police were at the home serving a weapons warrant for Johnson’s 20-year-old nephew.
“My dad did not know that they were police officers and you gotta understand, they were on the second floor. My dad is sick,” she said.
“We have three people who sustained significant injuries, one of them died,” Ross said. “Sadly, our heartfelt condolences for them. I can’t color it any other way. There’s no attempt to justify.”
Officials say the SWAT team announced their presence three times before entering the home that has two front doors separated by an enclosed patio. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the officer, 49-year-old Jaison Potts, suffered a broken jaw and may have artery damage along with other injuries. Ross says Potts walked into the hospital and was expected to survive, but was under heavy sedation because of his injuries.