July 04, 2022
Two police officers were shot and wounded near the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Monday night during the city's Fourth of July fireworks show, the grand finale of the Welcome America celebration.
The officers were taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and had be treated and released by early Tuesday morning, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said during briefing outside the hospital around 12:30 a.m.
The shootings happened at 9:47 p.m. on the 2500 block of Spring Garden Street, which is near where the Spring Garden Bridge crosses the Schuylkill River.
Philadelphia police were still searching for the shooter early Tuesday morning and asking anyone with information to contact the department.
Investigators still are determining if the police were the intended targets or if they were struck by stray bullets. Outlaw said the injured officers did not hear the shots fired before being struck. The bullets may have been celebratory gunfire that ricocheted off an object, she said, or they may have been fired intentionally at long range.
One officer suffered a graze wound to the forehead. The 36-year-old is assigned to the Philadelphia police highway unit and has worked for the department for 14 years. The second officer, 44 years old, was shot in the shoulder and is a deputy with Montgomery County Sheriff's Office's bomb squad unit.
During the briefing outside Jefferson, Mayor Jim Kenney vented about the gun violence in Philadelphia, which he said concerns him "every single day." High-profile events, like the Welcome America concert and fireworks on the parkway, are particularly stressful, he said.
"I'm waiting for something bad to happen all the time. I'll be happy when I'm not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff," Kenney said.
One reporter followed up, asking, "You're looking forward to not being mayor?"
"Yeah, as a matter of fact," Kenney said.
Moments before, the mayor referenced the recent U.S. Supreme Court's decision that struck down a New York law that had restricted carrying concealed firearms in public places. The ruling is viewed as a victory among Second Amendment supporters by affirming the right for Americans to arm themselves in all situations.
"It's like Dodge City," Kenney said, a comparison to the Kansas frontier town with a reputation for violence and gunslinging in the late 19th century. "We have to come to grips with what this country is about right now. We had a beautiful day out there today except for some nitwit either shooting from a window, or shooting from somewhere, who has a gun that probably shouldn't have had it."
The shootings occurred shortly after the fireworks show had begun. As news spread among those who had gathered on the parkway, it sent people fleeing the area.
People run for blocks from the Welcome America Festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway after two police officers were shot while working in the area of 2500 Spring Garden Street. A truly terrifying scene on what was supposed to be a night of celebration. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/Bye1OEzQmF— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) July 5, 2022
Went to the @July4thPhilly fireworks and around 20th / 21st and parkway, people started running. @PhillyPolice behind me, about 6, told everyone to clear the area.— Mike (@ChaiMike26) July 5, 2022
Let’s just hope it was just fireworks as there was metal detectors to start. @NBCPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/fSRJNCifVc
"What really could have been a chaotic scene or a catastrophic scene wasn't today," Outlaw said. "So, I am grateful for that, and I'm grateful for our personnel that were there to get everyone out of there safely."
Anyone with information about the shootings, can call police at (215) 686-TIPS.