2 more Phila., Pa Police Officers shot, bad guy dead. One saved by vest, other grazed


May 21, 2010
South Eastern PA

Two Philadelphia police officers were wounded and a gunman was killed in a shoot-out that erupted during a traffic stop Friday night in West Philadelphia, authorities said.

Officer Adam O'Donnell was shot in the chest about 8 in the Cobbs Creek section and was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Originally listed in stable condition, he was released before 11.

His partner, Ivan Centeno, was grazed by a bullet and was also treated and released.

Police said the officers saw a green minivan run a red light at 57th and Spruce Streets, and when they tried to stop it, the driver refused to pull over.

The driver led them on a chase before stopping near Walnut and Frazier Streets, police said. The officers approached the van from both sides and the person inside began shooting. The officers returned fire and the driver was killed, police said.

Investigators did not release the name of the shooter. The minivan remained on Walnut late Friday as investigators looked for evidence. Other officers gathered at the hospital, awaiting news of their wounded colleagues, until learning the two had been released.

"The suspect, without any warning, opened fire and struck O'Donnell in the stomach," Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said outside the hospital, according to Fox29 News. "Fortunately, he was wearing his bulletproof vest."

Ramsey and Mayor Nutter visited the officers at the hospital.

"This has got to stop," Nutter said. Stopping "attacks on citizens and on the Philadelphia Police Department [is] our No. 1 priority in increasing safety in the city."

This was another example of Kevlar vests helping to save lives.

On Dec. 22, a Kevlar vest and a helmet may have saved the lives of two officers shot before dawn by a man who then barricaded himself in a basement in Summerdale, police said. The man was Nasuil Martinez, wanted in the Dec. 10 shooting of an officer.

During that episode, Sgt. Christopher Binns, a 21-year veteran of the department, was shot with a .45-caliber handgun on the left side of his helmet, a blow that made a dent. Another shot hit Officer Francis Whalen, a 12-year veteran, directly on the ceramic plate inside his vest.

The protective gear deflected the bullets, and neither officer was injured, which Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross called "nothing short of miraculous."

"Either one of these shots would have taken a life, without question," Ross said at a news conference on Dec. 22, standing beside the protective gear worn by the officers. "We are just so thankful."

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