Two Philadelphia police officers were injured in a shooting that took place as tens of thousands of people celebrated July Fourth by congregating for fireworks and live music Monday, authorities said.
Police confirmed to NBC Philadelphia that two officers were stable at a hospital after being struck by gunfire near throngs who gathered at and near the city’s famed Museum of Art.
One suffered a graze wound, the station reported.
The gunfire was reported in the Fairmount Street-Art Museum area as people were in the area for multiple events, including the last day of the holiday weekend’s free 2022 Wawa Welcome America Concert featuring Jason Derulo.
Music had ended and fireworks had begun when the gunfire happened shortly before 10 p.m., reported NBC Philadelphia, which had a reporter at the center of the chaos near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Stage.
Witnesses said the shots caused pandemonium as spectators streamed from the neighborhood. The station reported that a SWAT team at a high-rise residential building near the museum was responding to a person with a gun who ended up being unrelated to the violence.
It did not appear that anyone was in custody.
No civilian injuries were reported. A child may have gone missing among the confusion, the station reported.
Alex Dzomba, 28, was celebrating a few blocks away at a friend’s high-rise residence when she saw the tidal wave of humanity spilling from the concert grounds adjacent to Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Possibly because fireworks were also sounding off, Dzomba said, she didn’t hear gunfire.
“All I saw was people screaming and fleeing the parkway,” she said.
Police urged people to stay away from the Fairmount-Art Museum area. A reunion location was set up at the Free Library of Philadelphia, police said.
After two pandemic years of mostly staying in for a holiday with roots in the city, Philadelphians were looking forward to celebrating July Fourth outdoors.
In suburban Chicago on Monday a suspect opened fire from a rooftop, killing six and injuring 38 others who were spectators and participants in a July Fourth parade in the city of Highland Park, authorities said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Kurt Chirbas and Sarah Kaufman contributed.