Philadelphia officer leaves hospital after airport shooting that killed 2nd officer; no arrests yet

From the Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia police officer was released from the hospital on Saturday after being wounded in an airport shooting that killed another officer, and police were still searching for the shooting suspects.

A line of fellow officers saluted and applauded as Officer Raul Ortiz, 60, was wheeled out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to a waiting SUV.

Ortiz, a 20-year veteran of the force, was shot in the arm when he and Officer Richard Mendez confronted several people breaking into a vehicle in a parking garage at Philadelphia International Airport at about 11 p.m. Thursday. Fifty-year-old Mendez, who had been on the force for more than two decades, was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities said the suspects fled in an SUV reported stolen a week ago that was later seen at a hospital dropping off 18-year-old Jesus Herman Madera Duran, who authorities say was believed to be involved in the confrontation with the officers. Duran had been shot in the chest, abdomen and left arm and was pronounced dead around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

It wasn’t clear if any other suspects were wounded in the shooting, authorities said, or how many of them had fired weapons. Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford noted that the shooting came only a week after three officers were shot and wounded while responding to a call and called the new shooting “a numb, numb moment for us.”

The slain officer’s gun has not been located and it wasn’t immediately known whether anyone fired it, Stanford said. Police released video showing “at least one suspect” as well as the vehicle used to drop off Madera Duran at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

A reward totaling $148,500 was offered for information leading to an arrest as the $30,000 posted by two local police unions was supplemented by money from other police groups, businesses and Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents. That’s in addition to $20,000 offered by the city for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

President Joe Biden, who was in Philadelphia on Friday, offered his condolences the families of the officers, saying “They put their lives on the line to protect this community.”