Philadelphia police officer subdues man armed with assault rifle VIDEO: Officer restraint Officer Berg received high praise from the top brass for neutralizing the situation and for saving lives including the suspect's. WPVI Thursday, December 18, 2014 08:26PM NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the controversy over excessive use of force by police one of the dominant topics of conversation in this country, the Philadelphia police wanted to make sure that everyone is well aware of what happened Wednesday in North Philadelphia, a case of police restraint.
Chopper 6 HD was over the 2800 block of 20th street just before 2:00 p.m.
Police tape was up.
And even from high above, we could see an AR-15, a military style assault rifle, in the middle of the street.
Philadelphia Police Officer Kollin Berg of the 39th District came face to face with that weapon and the man holding it.
He was on patrol alone.
" when I heard approximately 10 to 15 gunshots in rapid fire succession," Berg said.
He came up 20th and saw a man police now identify as 39-year-old Eric Barnes firing the assault rifle into the air.
Police say he'd already fired off 30 rounds and had a dozen more ready.
Officer Berg approached with his weapon drawn.
"I immediately announced 'police, drop the weapon.' About the second time I yelled it, he was just looking over his right shoulder. As he looked over his right shoulder, I was in 8 to 10 feet of him. I think he realized me coming out of nowhere, I had the drop on him and he immediately dropped his weapon," Berg said.
"I think it's an example of unbelievable restraint on the part of the officer." Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.
On Thursday, Officer Barnes received high praise from the top brass for neutralizing the situation and for saving lives including the suspect's.
This is a story the department wanted the public to hear especially in light of recent news of deadly encounters involving police officers and civilians.
"There's a lot of good work that goes on every day, a lot of people that do risk their lives every single day. Doesn't mean we don't have issues, but I think we need to keep it in the proper context," Ramsey said.
Officer Berg served 8 years in the Army with deployments in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
No doubt that training helped.
He downplays it all and says he was just doing his job.
"I am just doing my duty. This is what we're trained to do. This is why we're out here," Berg said.
Action News is told Barnes did own the gun legally, it was properly registered. Still, he is charged with firearms violations and reckless endangerment.