Philadelphia's police commissioner said Saturday that a 25-year-old gunman who killed a civilian and injured two police officers before he was shot and killed by police had left behind an angry, rambling note that showed he was "hell-bent on hurting a lot of people."
The gunman, identified as Nicholas Galent, had an extensive police record and in the note ranted against his probation officer and police, Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. told reporters Saturday afternoon.
Ross said Galent began his shooting spree by firing repeatedly into a police car at Sgt. Sylvia Young, hitting her in the arm and sending several bullets into her protective vest.
Although Galent apparently did not know Young, he was "clearly trying to assassinate her," Ross said.
Young and a second officer, Ed Miller, who works for the University of Pennsylvania police force, were injured by gunfire during the shooting rampage but were alert and in stable condition on Saturday.
The commissioner said there was no indication that the gunman had been radicalized or was working with anyone else. He said he appeared to have mental health issues and was clearly angry at his probation officer.
"He carried out one of the most violent acts in Philly in a long time," Ross said.
Ross called the violent eruption "surreal," as the gunman attacked Young, fired into a bar five times, used a woman briefly as a shield before shooting her in the leg, and then fired 14 times into a passing vehicle, wounding one man in the chest and killing a 25-year-old woman inside.
The gunman was eventually chased into a alley, where he exchanged gunfire with police, hitting Miller, before he was killed.
Ross said officers found a "rambling" note at the scene in an envelope marked "doomed," as well as a plastic bag carrying three magazine rounds and more than a dozen live rounds of ammunition.
The note expressed hatred toward law enforcement and named a probation officer.
“This rambling suggests that he clearly was trying to target a police officer, as he did … so it just kind of makes it very clear to us what he was out there to do,” Ross said.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney praised the police and pleaded with officers to follow Young’s example of wearing protective vests.
“Thank you for what you do for us every day, and please, please, please, every shift, please wear your vest,” he said. “They will save your life, as we saw tonight.”