Police officer wounded, suspect killed, in Chester gun battle

A police officer in Chester was shot and wounded and a suspect killed after the officer and his partner pulled over a stolen car Saturday afternoon, authorities said. A second suspect was wounded.

Both the police officer and suspect were taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center in Chester, where they were listed in critical condition. A third suspect was placed under arrest.

The shoot-out took place about 4 p.m. at Parker and Union Streets in the Delaware County municipality. Names of the officer and suspects were not released.

Otis Blair, Chester's deputy police commissioner, said that two police officers were responding to a report of a possible stolen vehicle when the incident occurred. After pulling over the gray Pontiac Grand Prix, one officer stepped out of his cruiser and asked the suspects to leave the car. At that point, Blair said, at least one suspect opened fire on police.

The officers returned fire. The gunfire left more than a dozen bullet holes in the stolen car.

The incident was witnessed by several residents and later a crowd of neighbors gathered around the shooting scene. The neighborhood is home to the William Penn Homes, a public housing development.

Tension about police conduct has been high in the town in recent weeks.

On Feb. 8, Chester police fired as many as 100 shots at an armed suspect, Shalamar Longer, killing him. After an early morning police chase that started in Upland, Longer crashed his SUV in a Chester neighborhood and was fired upon by six officers after he pointed a loaded gun at them, authorities said.

Newly elected Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland has pledged to change the city's Police Department. Days after being sworn in, the former state representative overhauled department leadership, naming a new chief, Darren Alston.

Staff writer Inga Saffron contributed to this article.