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4 ordered to trial on charges stemming from officer’s death

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Four men have been ordered to stand trial on charges stemming from the death of a Philadelphia police officer shot as police were trying to serve a warrant earlier this year.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 22-year-old Hassan Elliott, accused of being the gunman, and three co-defendants were ordered held for trial Wednesday on charges including murder, conspiracy, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, and weapons offenses.

Their preliminary hearing began last month but was cut short when one of the defense attorneys went into labor inside the courtroom. Elliot is also charged in the 2019 slaying that sent officers to the home with an arrest warrant as well as in a December shooting in the same neighborhood.

The first officer who entered the home in the Frankford neighborhood March 13 testified that he loudly announced that police were there to serve a warrant but officers were fired upon almost immediately as they climbed the stairs to the second floor.

Cpl. James O’Connor IV, a 46-year-old member of the SWAT team, was shot in the shoulder above his bulletproof vest. O’Connor, who was posthumously promoted to sergeant, was pronounced dead shortly afterward at a hospital. Two other people in the home were wounded by return fire from another officer.

O’Connor, a married father of two — including a son who also serves on the force — had been a police officer for 23 years and was with the SWAT unit for 15 years. His daughter serves in the U.S. Air Force.

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