Shooting at Ramadan event in West Philadelphia leaves 3 injured, 5 in custody, police say

Shooting at Eid al-Fitr celebration in West Philadelphia leaves 3 injured, 5 suspects in custody

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Three people were shot during a Ramadan event in West Philadelphia's Parkside section Wednesday afternoon, police said. It happened at 47th Street and Wyalusing Avenue at around 2:30 p.m. after gunfire erupted between two groups. 

Police said around 1,000 people were in attendance for the event celebrating Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

"In the midst of Eid al-Fitr, a Holy Day of celebration, our city's Muslim community experienced a sacrilegious act of gun violence today in a West Philadelphia park. Every community of faith has the absolute right and need to worship in peace," Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker wrote on X. "We stand united with the Muslim community, and vow to work together to restore balance and light to our communities."

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said five people are in custody, including an armed 15-year-old boy who was shot by responding officers.

Police on Thursday identified one of the five in custody as Kahbir Oglesby-Hicks, 21, of West Philadelphia. He faces charges related to guns, evading arrest and more.

The other four people in custody are two 15-year-old boys, a 16-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, police said.

The teen was shot by police in the left arm and leg and was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. 

A 22-year-old man and a 15-year-old boy were also injured in the shooting, police said. The 22-year-old was shot in the stomach, while the 15-year-old was struck in the ring finger. Both the 22-year-old and 15-year-old were placed in stable condition. The 22-year-old was taken to Presbyterian and the 15-year-old was taken to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, police said. 

Five guns were recovered from the scene of the shooting, Bethel said. 

The officer who shot the 15-year-old was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.  

A 15-year-old girl in the area of the shooting was struck by a police car responding to the scene and suffered a fractured leg, Bethel said. She was taken to CHOP and placed in stable condition, police said. 

CBS News Philadelphia obtained surveillance video from nearby Lei's Auto, which captured the moment people ran for safety during the shooting.

Surveillance video shows people running from gun shots during West Philadelphia Ramadan event

The FBI is assisting the Philadelphia Police Department and other local partners in the investigation, a spokesperson said. The ATF Philadelphia Field Division also assisted at the scene of the shooting. 

Two U.S. officials confirmed to CBS News the shooting does not appear to be an ideologically driven or targeted attack. The shooting happened in the area of the Philadelphia Masjid, a mosque located on the 4700 block of Wyalusing Avenue. 

As Bethel noted, the initial findings point to an armed skirmish between four to five individuals.

Bethel told CBS News Philadelphia public schools were closed for the Eid al-Fitr holiday and plenty of children were at the event. 

"The schools are closed today," Bethel said. "There is a school in the backdrop, as well as the church here, but there is no school today. The schools were closed because of the celebration today and and holiday. We're fortunate also at this time period to not have any kids out here."

Sen. Bob Casey posted on X that his office has been in touch with local officials about the shooting. 

"My office has been in touch with local officials on the shooting at a Eid al-Fitr event in Philadelphia. As we gather more details, I urge everyone to stay safe and listen to law enforcement," he wrote on X.  

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro posted on X that Pennsylvania State Police have been in contact with Philly police and offered "full support" for the shooting. 

"Eid should always be a time of joy for our Muslim neighbors — and I grieve for every member of the Philadelphia Muslim community whose celebration was shattered by gun violence today," Shapiro wrote in part.  

No one was killed during the shooting, however, Bethel said the police department is working alongside their homicide unit due to the magnitude of the incident. 

Police are asking anyone with information on this shooting to call 215.686.TIPS (8477) or submit a tip via the department's website

"This is just tragic and unacceptable"

Witnesses and community leaders described a chaotic scene at the park and said they want the violence to end. There were many children at the event that had to run for cover, witnesses said.

"It was the Eid! We're Muslim. It's Eid Mubarak. This is supposed to be one of the best days of the year for us. I don't understand what's going on," one witness said.

Peter Wilson, the 6th Ward leader, told CBS News Philadelphia he was at the event earlier in the day.

"It was a wonderful, wonderful day, everyone was exchanging pleasantries," and celebrating the end of Ramadan, he said.

"I just don't understand what they planned to accomplish by this act today. I don't know what they're looking for," Wilson said.

Wilson, who is also involved in anti-violence work in Philadelphia, said the message he shares every week is this: "You're killing your people, you're destroying your community. It needs to stop. Put the guns down."

Councilmember Jamie R. Gauthier said she was at the event earlier in the day and it has been joyful.

Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, who represents West and Southwest Philadelphia, said she was at the event earlier in the day and it was joyful.

"This is just tragic and unacceptable … To have this happen on a holy holiday it's just incredibly sad and this community which is so giving to the community around them doesn't deserve this," she said.

Fareed Abdullah, a Philadelphia teacher, was in shock and still processing all that had happened Wednesday afternoon.

Abdullah said people were celebrating the end of Ramadan before shots were fired, which led to people taking cover.

One man shares how he helped some women and children who were trampled after people started running away from shots being fired at a Ramadan event in West Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon.

"It's such a beautiful day and then two seconds later, gunshots. It was a plethora of gunshots," Abdullah said. "You saw the gunsmoke. We were very close, people started to duck, run, and people were being trampled over. Women were looking for their sons and daughters crying. Little kids scared for their lives just trembling. Just saying, why are these things happening?"

"This is something that really needs to change," he added. "This is supposed to be a safe environment and it usually is a safe environment, so parents were letting their kids roam around and doing what they were doing as far as having fun. So when people were running, parents might have been in the park or they might have been in the Musalla or they might just been visiting a vendor."

Abdullah said he also helped some women and children who were trampled in the aftermath of the shooting.

"So kids, everyone were just taking cover," he said. "I was definitely in shock when I ran, I turned back to help some women and kids that were being trampled over. I wanted to make sure I wasn't in shock as well because you didn't know where the bullets were coming from, but you knew that it was very close."

One resident of the area, who was with his 7-year-old granddaughter across the street when the shooting broke out, said it was frustrating that the violence interrupted a religious celebration.

"In my years in the 80s and 90s, this was unheard of. You didn't bring [violence] to the holy places," he said. "This is more of an indictment on the community, the police department, the politicians: We have to do more. We have to do more for these children. … We have to have more organizations on the ground, more money invested into developing these children. If not, you're going to continue to get this and it's going to spill over into innocent people."

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr is the earlier of two official holidays celebrated within Islam. 

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by Muslims because it marks the end of Ramadan –  the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. 

Where is Parkside in West Philadelphia? 

West Philadelphia's Parkside section is a smaller neighborhood located north of Mill Creek and northwest of University City. 

The east part of Parkside's neighborhood borders Fairmount Park and part of the west borders Overbrook. 

Read more

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.