Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez of Kensington will be charged with shooting Philadelphia police officer, sources say

Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez of Kensington will be charged with shooting Philadelphia police officer, sources say

A 36-year-old man is expected to be charged with shooting a Philadelphia police officer during a traffic stop Saturday evening, according to multiple police sources.

Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez, of Kensington, was arrested Saturday evening shortly after he reportedly shot the officer in the neck. The officer remains in critical condition at Temple University Hospital, fighting for his life.

Vazquez was taken into custody Saturday evening after the incident that began with a traffic stop in the Kensington neighborhood. Another person who, according to two sources, is the girlfriend of the shooter, was also taken into custody.

The 31-year-old Philadelphia police officer has not yet been identified. The husband, father and six-and-a-half-year veteran of the department is “on life support, on life support, fighting for his life” at Temple Hospital, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker said, published on X , formerly Twitter. .

He is one of at least eight police officers who have been shot dead in the city over the past eight months.

» LEARN MORE: Suspects in custody after Philadelphia police officer’s shooting in Kensington

Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said Saturday evening the incident occurred during a traffic stop in the 3500 block of F Street around 7:30 p.m. Police noticed a gun holster and the The gunman fled the vehicle, firing three shots at the officer, who was hit. in the neck.

“His partner fought back,” Bethel said during an emotional press briefing at the hospital.

Four people were in the car, he said. It is unclear if anyone else will be charged.

Bethel said 75 to 100 officers gathered in a hospital auditorium where they “held hands and we prayed for our officers.”

“Today I ask the people of the City of Philadelphia to pray for our officers.”

Governor Shapiro, in a statement on X Sunday, also said he and his wife joined in prayers for the officer.

“His family is in our thoughts, as are his fellow officers, who were forced to take one of their own to hospital last night,” he said. “Our law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. We will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.

The shooting occurred just as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was holding a campaign rally at Temple University’s Liacouras Center. During the rally, he condemned the violence in the city, promising to send in federal law enforcement if elected.

“Biden’s wave of chaos, death and terror will begin to recede as soon as I take the oath of office,” Trump said. “There are some places, like places that I know very well here, that are absolutely out of control.”

The shooting also follows the city’s announcement that it would nearly triple its police presence in Kensington.

» LEARN MORE: Kensington police force to triple this week and more arrests loom: ‘There’s no strategy for this’

Among other police officers who have been shot since October is Officer Richard Mendez, who was fatally wounded that month at Philadelphia International Airport while investigating an alleged car break-in.

Also in October, three police officers were shot and injured in the city’s Rhawnhurst neighborhood while responding to a report of a domestic shooting.

In January, another police officer was shot and injured at a Fairhill convenience store. Two other police officers were injured in incidents that month.

But the city as a whole has seen significantly lower levels of gun violence this year, according to an Inquirer analysis. Shootings are down in almost every neighborhood in the city.

Staff writers Anthony R. Wood, Michelle Myers and Jesse Bunch contributed to this article.

This is a developing story and will be updated.