Philadelphia woman shot in the head during an eviction enforcement action

The scene at the Girard Court Apartments in the city’s Sharswood section Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2023, after a landlord tenant officer shot a woman in the head while trying to enforce an eviction

A Philadelphia woman was shot in the head on Wednesday morning by a private landlord-tenant officer while he was trying to enforce an eviction.

The incident occurred at the Girard Court Apartments in the city’s Sharswood neighborhood just after 9 a.m., when the officer from the First Judicial District got into a confrontation with at least two people while attempting to serve a court-ordered eviction, Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore said.

During the confrontation, the officer fired a weapon, striking a 35-year-old woman who was inside the apartment. She was immediately taken to the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and is currently in critical condition.

A gun was recovered at the scene, and the police are waiting on a warrant to search the apartment, Vanore added. The spokesperson for the First Judicial District could not be reached for comment.

Unlike other jurisdictions, Philadelphia relies on a private law office appointed by the courts to execute evictions, known as a Landlord Tenant Officer, in exchange for millions in related eviction fees. These ‘officers’ are not actually police.

The office in turn deputizes private security contractors to perform on-site lockouts. Despite their name, landlord-tenant officers are not sworn law enforcement personnel.

The incident has raised questions about the use of force by the landlord-tenant officers, who are not required to have the same level of training and oversight as sworn law enforcement personnel.

Many have criticized the privatization of the eviction process and the use of private security contractors to carry out evictions, which can result in violent confrontations like this one.

The Philadelphia police department and the First Judicial District have not yet released further information about the incident.

A two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom apartment at the complex is being rented out for $2,765 a month, according to Darien Aunapu, a 26-year-old strategic data analyst who broadcast a tour of a unit on the social media outlet TikTok.

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