Two police officers were shot and wounded during Fourth of July celebrations in the city of Philadelphia on Monday night, authorities said.
Both officers received graze wounds and were transported to Jefferson University Hospital, where they were treated and released, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a press conference late Monday.
One the victims was identified as a 36-year-old officer with the Philadelphia Police Department Highway Patrol who received a graze wound to his head. The round, Outlaw said, hit his forehead before coming to stop in his cap.
The other victim was a 44-year-old bomb squad officer assigned to the city’s police department from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He received a graze wound to the shoulder, Outlaw said, adding that they were both in “good spirits.”
“The good news is that both officers have since been treated and released and what really could have been a catastrophic scene wasn’t today, so I’m grateful for that,” she said.
The officers were working security detail for the Fourth and July festivities when the shooting occurred at around 9:47 p.m. in the 2500 block of Spring Garden.
The officers did not hear the shots or rounds fired, Outlaw said.
The shooting caused the public to scatter, and the Philadelphia Police Department had instructed separated families to reunite at the Free Library of Philadelphia while instructing everyone else to avoid the area.
Outlaw said the circumstances around the incident were unknown, but vowed that they will find those responsible.
“We don’t know if this was a ricochet from celebratory gunfire, we don’t know if this was intentional, we don’t know if this was someone taking a shot intentionally at these officers from long range,” she said.
She called on anyone with information about the shooting to contact the authorities.
As of late Monday, there were no suspects in police custody.
A resigned Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters that the shootings won’t stop until “Americans decide that they want to give up the guns.”
“It was a laid-back, chilled day. Weather was beautiful. Concert was beautiful but we live in America, and we have the Second Amendment and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody that can carry a gun wherever you want,” he said, in reference to a recent high-court ruling vacating state rules regulating on who can carry guns.
“We have to come to grips with what the country is about right now,” he said. “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 who probably shouldn’t of had it.”
The shooting occurred during a July Fourth marked by gun violence as six people were fatally shot and more than two dozen others were wounded earlier Monday when a gunman opened fire at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill.
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