Two police officers sustained injuries. If they were purposely shot is unknown.
When a shooting broke out at the Welcome America concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, two police officers were injured, and crowds were dispersed, cutting short Philadelphia’s celebration of Independence Day.
When the shots went off around 9:45 p.m., immediately after the musical performances ended and the light display started, many were gathered close to Eakins Oval at the base of the Philadelphia Art Museum to see the fireworks.
There were other birthday celebrations that were ruined by gunshots on Monday. At least six people were killed when a shooter from a rooftop in Highland Park, Illinois, opened fire on dozens of spectators at a Fourth of July parade. It was unclear as of Tuesday morning if the shooting in Philadelphia was an accident or a deliberate shooting.
In Philadelphia, where guns are widely available, shootings are tragically frequent. At 2nd and Market streets earlier on Monday, there was a shooting that was allegedly caused by a road rage incident. At least 1,176 shootings have been reported in the city so far this year, which represents a 4 percent increase from the record-breaking pace of 2016.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw met the media with Mayor Jim Kenney just after midnight, stating that extra police patrols had already been added for the Monday night event due to the tragedy in Illinois.
According to Kenney, “We’re the most militarized nation in human history, and one of the least safe.” We’re going to have this issue until Americans decide they want to give up their guns and the chance to obtain them.
As people poured off the Parkway and into various sections of the city after the incident, officers on the scene diverted crowds away from the area. The fireworks are still going off in the background as people flee, according to aerial footage shared on social media. As police scoured the area for a suspect, reporters and others backstage took cover.
More information on the Welcome America shooting is provided below.
Are the officers who were hurt okay?
Both of the cops, who were sent as an additional security detail to the event, are making progress and are not in serious condition. According to The Inquirer, Commissioner Outlaw stated at a news conference that “they’re both in fantastic spirits.”
Highway patrol officer for the Philly Police Department, age 36, was one of the policemen who was almost shot in the head. According to a picture released by the FOP police union, his cap apparently stopped the bullet, causing only a graze to his head.
The 44-year-old Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy who was shot in the shoulder is the other law enforcement official. According to reports, both were treated at Jefferson Hospital.
What specific location was the shooting?
According to Fox 29, the officers were allegedly standing in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art between the steps and the Ferris wheel that had been set up at Eakins Oval when they were shot.
The official name for the street as it curves around the stairs and crosses the Schuylkill River to the southwest is Spring Garden Street, and there is where the shooting took place, according to officials.
Who was let go, and why?
As of Tuesday morning, neither suspects nor arrests had been made by the authorities. Helicopters were hovering and police were “scouring the area” from 19th Street to Eakins Oval immediately after the incident, according to NBC10.
How many people attended the performance?
There are currently no estimates of how many people attended this year’s event, which featured Ava Max, Jason Derulo, and Tori Kelly.
The previous July Fourth concerts in Philadelphia attracted up to 175,000 attendees. The Roots were the concert’s headlining act in 2015. In recent years, pre-pandemic crowd sizes have ranged from 10,000 (in a year it rained) to 100,000.
What procedures were used to manage the crowd?
People present at the incident recalled some initial hesitancy as they sought to distinguish between gunshots and pyrotechnics.
People who recorded footage of the scene on the Parkway showing the atmosphere changing from joyful to frightened said that officers then ordered everyone to leave the area and started evacuating Eakins Oval. Officers in the area reportedly instructed guests to “run, run, run” according to one report to NBC10
An emergency notice reading, “Attention: Public Safety officers are actively investigating a security incident,” appeared on big screens at the event location an hour later. Keep standing where you are, please.
What more did the mayor say?
At the press conference following the shooting, Philadelphia’s mayor informed reporters that he was sick of being mayor.
When questioned about holding significant events in the city amid constant violence, Kenney responded that he has concerns each time there is a gathering.
Every single day, I’m worried,” Kenney added. No occasion or day goes by that I don’t lie on my back and think about things. I am concerned about all that has happened in the city in the last seven years. I didn’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention or the NFL Draft because I’m constantly expecting the worse. When I’m not here, when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy certain things, I’ll be happy.
A reporter checked back: You anticipate not being the mayor? Kenney chuckled sadly and replied, “Yeah. It’s true, in fact.