The criminal history of a man suspected of barricading himself inside a Philadelphia rowhome should have prevented him from legally owning the firepower he used Wednesday to wound six police officers in a standoff that carried deep into the night, authorities said.
Maurice Hill, who authorities say had at least a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun when he opened fire on officers serving a drug warrant, has on his record multiple arrests in Philadelphia and adjacent Delaware County between 2001 and 2012, according to online records.
He has convictions for an array of crimes that include assault, perjury, fleeing and eluding, escape and weapons offenses.
Hill, 36, served two stints in state prisons – three, counting a return for a probation violation. He was also hit with a 55-month federal prison term over a pair of convictions for being a felon in possession of firearms.
Pennsylvania prison officials said Hill served about 2½ years on drug dealing charges and was paroled in 2006, and then did more than a year for aggravated assault before being released in 2013.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Thursday that Hill’s arrest history also includes burglary, resisting arrest, taunting a police animal and reckless endangerment, although he cautioned not all resulted in convictions.
“I think what it says is that the system had multiple contacts with this man, and the system … did things that obviously did not stop this incident,” Krasner said.
Authorities are trying to determine whether there is an outstanding warrant pending against Hill, based on a docket reference to a March 2018 probation violation, said Philadelphia-based U.S. Attorney William McSwain.
“He’s an individual who spent most of his adult life sort of bouncing in and out of the criminal justice system,” McSwain said.
The prospect of a return to prison was on Hill’s mind during telephone negotiations to end the nearly 8-hour standoff, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
Hill told him he had an extensive record and “did not want to deal with prison again,” the commissioner recounted.
Ross expressed amazement that the standoff ended with no one dead and no life-threatening injuries, despite the gunman firing over 100 rounds.
The six officers who were struck by gunfire were released from hospitals Wednesday night.
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