It took more than seven hours for the suspected gunman who authorities said shot six officers to vacate a Philadelphia home, but not before Police Commissioner Richard Ross used some "unorthodox" tactics to end the standoff, including speaking directly with the suspect.
Ross said he would not normally have shown up to a standoff, but the one that started around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday was different. Two police officers and three civilians were still trapped inside the home and the suspected shooter was not talking. Ross told reporters during a Thursday morning press conference that there is nothing that could have made him leave that scene until he knew everyone was out.
In another unusual step for him, Ross asked the hostage negotiators if it would be impactful for the police commissioner to speak with the suspect. They agreed it would.
Ross said he asked a question and from there continued to be fed lines throughout the ordeal by Detective Timmy Brooks. Ross said that while at first he was silent, soon the suspect began asking for "unreasonable requests" that could not be accommodated.
In another move Ross called "unorthodox," police also brought in the suspect's attorney, Shaka Johnson, to help with the situation. "It was an unusual circumstance, so we took unusual steps because we're about the preservation of life. In this case, even his," Ross said.
The suspect has been identified as Maurice Hill.
While Johnson told WPVI a conversation between Hill, Ross, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and himself helped lead to the peaceful surrender, Ross said, ultimately, it was tear gas that ended the more than hours-long standoff shortly after midnight Thursday.
Hill emerged through the tear gas with his hands in the air, and, according to police, with a gun on him.
"We do know this guy actually came outside with a gun on his person so this could've even more dangerous and volatile were not for the professionalism of the SWAT unit," Ross said.