Tragedy in Philadelphia leaves SWAT officer shot in face in critical condition and homeowner shot dead


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In a tragic turn of events, a veteran Philadelphia cop who was serving a warrant was shot in the face and the owner who fired on him is dead, CBS Philadelphia reports.

SWAT Officer Jaison Potts is in critical condition after taking a gunshot to the face on Monday by 59-year-old Riccardo Giddings who believed that his home was being robbed, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

“This is just a tragedy. We aren’t dealing with a bunch of criminals firing on police,” said Ross.

“My dad heard and told my mom to run. Somebody is breaking in,” his stepdaughter, Laquisha Johnson.

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Turn of Events

Potts’ partner returned fire and killed Giddings. He later died at Einstein Hospital. The officers were at the Giddings residence to arrest their 20-year-old grandson. Ross said the officers announced at least three times who they were, but Giddings and his wife reportedly did not hear them. His wife, 59-year-old Joanne Johnson, was injured by a bullet that ricocheted and hit her.

“She said that somebody was breaking into our house. I ran. I tried to get away. She was yelling ‘call the cops’ and that’s when she was shot,” said Laquisha Johnson, recalling what her mom told her.

The grandson ultimately turned himself in to police. Potts was set to go on vacation later that day.

“It’s an absolute tragedy all the way around,” said Commissioner Ross.

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Critical Condition

Potts who is 49 years old and married with three children is under care at Temple University Hospital.

“We know that he sustained some very serious injuries. He’s in critical condition right now. We know that, at minimum, he’s got a broken jaw. We also know that, right now, doctors are taking him into specialists to see if some of his arteries have been damaged,” said Ross.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney visited the hospital to see the injured officer and his family.

“I want to thank our officers for putting themselves out there on the line everyday and our prayers are with them,” said Kenney.

Johnson said she’s just trying to be supportive during this trying time.

“I’m in shock. I’m trying to be calm because my mom’s health is important. She just lost her husband so I’m trying to just, were working with them to get some answers and we’re not getting that,” she said.

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