Woman killed, officers hurt in Philly shooting rampage; gunman also dead

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia man who went on a fatal shooting spree left an elliptical letter titled "Doomed" depicting a hatred for law enforcement but leaving few other clues about the rampage, the police commissioner said Saturday.

"It was a bunch of rantings that was tantamount to rambling so it wasn't the most lucid letter," Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters. "It was more about himself than who he wanted to harm."

Nicholas Glenn went on a deadly tear late Friday in Philadelphia, ambushing a police sergeant and firing rounds into a tavern and a car before police shot him dead, Ross said.

A 25-year-old woman died after she was shot seven times in the torso, police said. Two police officers and three others -- two men and a woman -- also were wounded.

Detectives are investigating whether Glenn was linked to or inspired by outside groups or accomplices, but so far there is no evidence that he did not act alone, Ross said. Glenn's 9mm Ruger pistol had the serial number obliterated.

"Right now we have a lot of questions. This is completely a bizarre situation," Ross said.

Police found a note at the scene that said Glenn hated police and probation officers and it mentions one probabion officer in particular, Ross said.

Based on the letter, Ross said, he suspected Glenn may have suffered from a mental illness. He also noted Ross had an extensive criminal history.

"It is just one of those things that is surreal," he said. "Obviously he was hell-bent on hurting a lot of people. We still aren't sure why."

Ross could not immediately confirm that Glenn was a suspect in a 2009 West Philadelphia gang rape case.

Sergeant shot in protective vest

The shooting occurred around 11:20 p.m. Friday when Glenn approached a police car and fired through the window at Sgt. Sylvia Young, who was sitting in her cruiser at 52nd and Sansom Streets in west Philadelphia, police said.

No words were exchanged, according to Ross.

Young, a 19-year veteran of the force, was struck in her left arm and her protective vest. She is in stable condition at a hospital, police said. Ross said she is talking and will be OK.

Officers nearby heard the gunfire and responded, chasing down the man as he fled.

Glenn was "clearly trying to assassinate her," said Ross, noting Glenn fired at close range 18 times. Two of the bullets hit and disabled Young's pistol.

"It is absolutely miraculous that she is alive," Ross said.

Cornered in an alley

The gunman fired into a bar, which had its door open, wounding a security guard, police said. He then grabbed a woman and used her as a human shield, shooting her in the leg, authorities said.

He discharged a further 14 rounds into a car, striking a man and woman inside, Ross said. The woman died and the man is expected to survive, he said.

Ross found the attacks on the bar and civilian vehicle equally baffling, saying the letter contained no clue about why Glenn would have targeted random civilians.

Glenn ran into an alley before a University of Pennsylvania police officer and two others from the city police cornered him. Police said they shot and killed him, and he was declared dead at the scene.

The university police officer was shot in the pelvis and the right ankle, police said, and he is in stable condition at a hospital.

Four officers were believed to have discharged their weapons, police said.

CNN affiliate WPVI reported that "officers will be riding two to a car until further notice."

"Gun violence across this nation is absolutely out of control," Ross said. "This should not happen in this country. That is the bottom line. ...This is a country where we have to do better with gun violence, plain and simple."

Another ambush in January

In January, a gunman in west Philadelphia shot and wounded an officer sitting in his police car. That happened not far from where Friday night's rampage began.

The shooter in that incident allegedly told police after he ambushed Officer Jesse Hartnett that he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, police said.

But "we have no reason at this point to believe" Friday's shooting "is related to any beliefs of a religious nature or anything like that, just feelings about police departments and police officers in general and probation officers," said Ross.



    • A Shrubbery

      Race, intelligence, and moral substance are all different things. Only one ever gets concentrated on and has the least amount to do with the crimes committed in relation to an agenda that wants to (for some reason) degrade our middle class society- that’s the one that built the majority of what we rely on daily. I know people of many origins that I would trust to borrow my car. In the same sense, I know a lot of people that look just like me that I hope fall into a wood chipper because they are lying idiots that take what they can. It is this false construct that some are falling for out of their need for drama. I almost expect to hear people cheering, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry…” in the backround everytime I see these tragedies reported. It’s sad. More so because of how it is portrayed to a known mass public that is ever curious to be informed. It is simply a matter of intelligence and morality

  • A Shrubbery

    “Gun violence”? Tell that to the kid that got his hand hacked by a machete last year, or to the people that got ran over by a truck in France, or to the people that were attacked with an axe on a subway in Germany, et cetera. Bet they wish they had a reasonable way to defend themselves without being criminalized. What we have here is failure… by the mainstream media to drop their sugar coated “pay me” agenda’s and push actual truth into the streets of this great country that we’ve all lost something for. At best it can only be called “Low IQ Brainwashed Idiot Violence”. When you have an outlet or a voice that is even partly responsible for educating/misinforming a great number of these idiots? There is ultimately at least a speck or two of that blood on your hands. Just in case you people didn’t think of it that way when you were labeling those that you didn’t agree with as “-ists” and “-phobes” while promoting these terrorist agendas and trying to keep your hands clean at the same time. Welcome to reality kids. It’s not going to be very easy for much longer if you sacrifice the community around you for short lived personal gains. Best of luck to those that read this before it is deleted.

  • Lawrence T

    Black Lives Matters scum in action today, thug NFL players kneel in protest tomorrow. How about stay in school, get a job, respect women, don’t abandon your children and obey the laws? Put down the video games and porn too. Is this hate speech i write? give me a break !

    • Nunya bidniss

      I was with you in the beginning, but what’s wrong with video games and porn? Maybe if these wingnuts had some other outlets for their frustration they wouldn’t go around shooting people.


    It’s devastating and heartbreaking when an innocent person dies by the hands of a hateful criminal. At least there’s a small feeling of justice and some satisfaction when the criminal is gunned down dead on the spot, instead of jailed and kept healthy and safe. Just think of all the hungry and ill people who could be helped and saved if so much money wasn’t being wasted housing criminals of this caliber.

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