Calls came in at about 4:30 pm, according to audio obtained via the Broadcastify website. A law enforcement officer can be heard saying: “Officer calls for everything you got. SWAT, long gun. I got an officer shot.” An unidentified gunman is reported to be firing at dozens of police officers nearly 30 minutes after officers arrived on the corner of 15th and Butler streets in the Nicetown area of the city.
Police have said the incident is ongoing.
Philadelphia police spokesman Eric Gripp tweeted that “several” officers had been injured in the exchange of fire.
No details have yet been confirmed about the number but NBC Philadelphia is reporting that at least three officers were hurt, and possibly as many as five.
Temple University’s Health Sciences Center has been placed under lockdown.
The university tweeted: “Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still. Police are responding.”
It subsequently added:”Lockdown remains in effect on Health Sciences Center campus. This is an active scene. Will keep sending regular updates.”
One woman told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI she had heard more than 100 gunshots and witnessed people “running for their lives”.
She added: “I heard so many gunshots… I’m scared.”
Agent from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau (ATF) are at the scene, a spokesman said.
Local television station EHA reported at least five officers had been shot, with “multiple ambulances” on the scene.
Helicopters were reported to be hovering overhead.
Video shows a massive police presence in a neighbourhood with dozens of police cars and officers, many of them with their guns drawn.
One officer appeared injured and was taken away in a police car
Video also showed two other officers carrying a man and putting them in the back of a police car.
A source told CNN the injured police officers, whose conditions are unknown, were part of the narcotics division.
Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew said local police were called after reports of drug related activity.
Local police have since confirmed the injuries sustained are non life threatening.
With the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting two officers remain trapped inside the house the shooter is firing from, the police have enlisted the help of a negotiator with a megaphone to peacefully resolve the situation.
Philadelphia Police Commisioner Richard Ross has cnfirmed the two officers remain trapped insiders and a source told CNN it appeared at one point the shooter was on the first floor and firing through walls.
According to NBC News reporter Doha Madani, Mr Ross said he was concerned about a “potential hostage” situation.
BNO News have reported that the two police officers have been freed after five hours.