CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 15, 2019 – After a shootout and hostage situation in a northern Philadelphia neighborhood Wednesday night resulted in six police officers being shot, crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) are deploying to the area to provide emotional and spiritual care. One chaplain, who also serves as a police chaplain in the area, was on the scene late Wednesday, with additional chaplains scheduled to arrive Thursday.
“Our hearts are heavy after learning about the shooting involving law enforcement officers in Philadelphia Wednesday evening,” RRT Assistant Director Josh Holland said. “The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team already has crisis-trained chaplains in the area, and we are working with a local church to support and assess the emotional and spiritual needs in the community.”
A shootout that involved multiple hostages and lasted many hours ended shortly after midnight with the suspect surrendering. Six officers were shot, but released from the hospital according to Philadelphia Police Department Sgt. Eric Gripp.
The RRT also has chaplains in Del Rio and Laredo, Texas, where they are offering respite and comfort to migrants who have been granted legal access into the United States.
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit www.billygraham.org/rrt. Updates can also be found at www.facebook.com/RRTChaplains.
About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into an international network of chaplains in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 400 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.
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