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Philadelphia Fourth Of July Shooting: $20,000 Reward Offered In Shooting That Injured 2 Police Officers During Fireworks Show On Ben Franklin Parkway

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A $20,000 reward is being offered in the Fourth of July shooting that injured two police officers along the Ben Franklin Parkway. The shooting happened on the 2500 block of Spring Garden Street around 9:45 p.m. Monday.

The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5  has put up a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of an individual who shot two law enforcement officers during the celebration.

"We were inches away from planning a funeral for at least one brave, Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer as a bullet lodged in his cap," said, FOP Lodge #5 President, John McNesby. "There are too many guns on our streets and far too many individuals acting recklessly with these deadly weapons."

The Philadelphia highway patrol officer was carrying a funeral mass card in his hat honoring our recently fallen Chaplain, Father Steven Wetzel.  "Father Steve has always supported and counseled our officers over the years and even now he's still working miracles for our heroes," said, McNesby.

"An angel on his shoulder." The Philadelphia Police Highway Patrol officer who was grazed in the head by a bullet...

Posted by CBS Philly on Tuesday, July 5, 2022

People were seen running and screaming as gunshots were heard at the celebration.

The two officers were shot just as the Fourth of July fireworks show started on the Parkway and the sound of the explosions made it harder to hear where the shots were coming from and even harder to find who fired them, police say.


Police say a 44-year-old officer assigned to the Montgomery County bomb squad suffered a graze wound in the right shoulder. A 36-year-old officer assigned to highway patrol suffered a graze wound to the head. Both officers have been released from the hospital.

President of the Police Union, John McNesby, says officers are doing everything they can to combat the city's gun violence, but right now they're understaffed and overwhelmed.

"Common theme. When it hits our guys, it is horrible. Our cops are out there long hours, undermanned, you know were 5-600 down, a major event like this where people should be coming together to have a good time," McNesby said.

McNesby shared a photo with CBS3 showing the bullet lodged in the highway patrol officer's cap after he suffered a graze wound.

The officer was also carrying a prayer card of the FOP's beloved chaplain, Father Steve Wetzel, in his hat. "An angel on his shoulder," McNesby said.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says it was a miracle the bullet stopped in the officer's hat.

"It is miraculous," Outlaw said. "Again, the fact that the round stopped in his hat. It initially went inside, hit his forehead, and then round stopped in his hat. I spoke to officers in the hospital and they're both in great spirits."

There was a large police presence at the hospital on Monday night. CBS3's Jasmine Payoute captured cell phone video of one of the officers being released from the hospital.

According to police sources, the shooter or shooters were not in a position of high ground or firing from a building. Sources tell CBS3's Joe Holden that this may have all started as the result of police pulling over a vehicle.

The shooting sent crowds of people on the Parkway for the Welcome America concert and fireworks running.

Local photographer HughE Dillon, who was on the Parkway, described the chaos to CBS3. He was near 23rd Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway photographing the fireworks when the chaos broke out.

"At first, it was very orderly. The police were just like 'go this way, go this way.' And then, that's when they accelerated and they said 'run, run, run. Don't look back, run,'" Dillon said.

One South Jersey man says he will no longer attend large events.

"From this experience that happened today, I will no longer be going to crowded big areas, especially during the Fourth," Blake Miller said. "I will never take my children anywhere to a crowded event like that."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney did not hold back when discussing how fed up he is with gun violence in the city. He says he no longer enjoys big events or holidays in Philadelphia because he is "waiting for something bad to happen all the time."

He even went as far as saying he can't wait to no longer be mayor.

"It was a laid-back, chill day. Weather was beautiful, concert was beautiful. But we live in America and we have the 2nd Amendment and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody they can carry a gun wherever they want. It's like Dodge City. We have to come to grips with what this country is about right now," Kenney said. "This is a gun country. It's crazy. We're the most armed country in world history and we're one of the least safest."

Fireworks continued to go off as officers could be heard on police radio requesting the fireworks show be shut down as officers responded to the chaos.

Former Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Sullivan walked CBS3 through the early stages of the investigation and the police response.

"We don't know if this is ricochet from celebratory gunfire, or if this was intentional," Outlaw said. "We don't know if there was someone intentionally taking shots at officers from long range, but we're all extremely grateful that this wasn't worse. All these officers, we're on it and we won't rest until we have someone in custody."

No suspects have been taken into custody.

Following the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Philadelphia police said they had Emergency Response Teams on standby throughout the city to respond to areas where additional resources are needed, so authorities were able to react quickly to the chaos.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the Philadelphia police tip line at 215-686-TIPS. The FOP reward will be paid immediately if someone calls in with a tip that leads to an arrest.

CBS3's Kerri Corrado, Joe Holden, Jasmine Payoute, and Ross DiMattei contributed to this report.

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