PHILADELPHIA CREAM — Gunfire killed three people and injured at least 11 others in a popular downtown Philadelphia neighborhood late Saturday night, authorities said.
Police officers were patrolling the South Street area in downtown Philadelphia when they heard multiple gunshots and saw several suspects shooting into a large crowd just before midnight, police inspector DF Pace said during the a press conference.
An officer shot one of the suspects from about 30 feet away, but it’s unclear if the suspect was hit, Pace said.
“You can imagine there were hundreds of people taking advantage of South Street, as they do every weekend, when this shooting broke out,” Pace said.
Two men and a woman were among those killed in the shooting, he said. Their names have not been made public by the authorities. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital spokesman Damien Woods said of the 10 patients who came to the hospital, three were dead, six were in stable condition and one was discharged.
Two handguns were recovered, including one with an extended magazine, police said. No arrests were made.
South Street is known for its entertainment venues and nightlife with many bars, restaurants and shops. A local business surveillance video released by WTXF-TV showed dozens of people crowding the sidewalks and into the street, then suddenly began fleeing en masse as the gunfire began.
Pace said police expect to be able to piece together “lots of CCTV footage” of the many businesses along the street later in the day to try to identify the suspects.
Mayor Jim Kenney called the shooting “beyond devastating.”
“Once again, we see lives needlessly lost and people injured in yet another horrific, brazen and despicable act of gun violence,” he said in a statement Sunday morning. “My heart is with the family, friends, loved ones of those lost or injured, and with everyone impacted by this terrible tragedy.
Kenney said the spike in gun violence in the city and across the country “not only makes me heartbroken, but also angry.” to firearms.”
Eric Walsh, closing the outdoor seating area of a bar along the block, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the scene was “chaos.” He said he saw a young woman collapse to the ground around the corner.
“People were coming out of the streets with blood spattered on white sneakers and scraped knees and scraped elbows,” Walsh said. “We were literally balling up towels, wetting them and handing them to people.”