Two Philadelphia police officers shot near Parkway amid city's July 4 festivities

  • In US
  • 2022-07-05 05:01:12Z
  • By Bucks County Courier Times

Two Philadelphia police officers have been shot near the July 4 festivities near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The officers were treated and released from Jefferson University Hospital hours after the 9:47 p.m. shooting at 25th and Spring Garden streets. A city highway patrol officer, 36, suffered a graze wound to the forehead and a Montgomery County sheriff's officer, 44, sustained a graze wound to his shoulder. He serves on the county's bomb squad.

Both were working security detail for the city's finale of its signature July 4th event, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw at a press conference around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

No suspects were in custody early Tuesday morning.

Thousands were on the Parkway and in the vicinity of the Philadelphia Art Museum for the city's annual Independence Day celebration that includes concerts and fireworks as part of the Wawa Welcome America weekend event.

The concert was over and the firework show was ongoing when the incident was reported around 9:45 p.m. Outlaw said the officers did not hear the shots as the fireworks were launching.

She said police are investigating whether the shots were fired intentionally at the officers or were "ricochet from celebratory gunfire" from someone shooting the the air, a known problem in the city during holidays.

The officer who suffered a graze wound to the head was extremely luck, Outlaw said. The bullet round was lodged in his hat, she confirmed.

"It is miraculous," she said, noting the officers were in good spirits and one said he would patrol the event again. The round went under the hat and stopped there after grazing the officer's forehead.

Outlaw said the night could have been "catastrophic scene," and was grateful that the officers will recover.

NBC10 in Philadelphia showed footage of people running near Eakins Oval and reported that other people were ordered to shelter in place, including those in apartments along the parkway.

"There is a security incident on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Please follow public safety instructions and avoid area. Details to follow," the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted immediately after the incident.

Police said those looking to "reunite with loved ones on the Parkway, please meet at 1901 Vine Street in front of the Free Library of Philadelphia. All others, please avoid the area."

As authorities continued to investigate, law enforcement also gathered at Jefferson University Hospital, where officials would later hold a news conference early Tuesday morning.

Outlaw asked anyone with information, including video or other leads, to contact police.

Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney said the city's Independence Day celebrations, which bring thousands to Philadelphia over a few days, were successful and peaceful before the shooting.

"To end on a note like this, obviously isn't not favorable, but again we will continue to do our jobs continue to look for whoever is responsible for this," Outlaw said.

Kenney said America's gun laws are to blame for gun violence in the city and elsewhere.

"IT was a laidback, chill day," he said of the events before the shooting. " ... We live in America, and we have teh second ammendment and we have the Supreme Court of the United States, telling everybody they can carry a gun wherever they want. It's like Dodge City. We have to come to grips with what this country is about right now."

He said Philadelphia had an otherwise "beautiful" day, other than the act of "some nitwit."

The shootings came hours after police say a 22 -year-old man opened fire at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing six and injuring dozens more.

More:Man taken into custody in connection with July 4th parade shooting that killed 6 in Highland Park: What we know

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Philadelphia police officers shot on Parkway amid July 4 festivities


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