When the sound of gunfire faded late Saturday evening, the popular entertainment district was littered with shell casings.
“There were hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when this shooting broke out,” said Philadelphia Police Inspector D.F. Pace.
It was just one of several shootings in the area Saturday evening, officials said, and one of the at least nine mass shooting across the US this weekend, CNN confirmed.
Now, a search for the shooters is underway and a curfew has been implemented as officials try to stifle any additional possible violence.
No arrests have been made and police are urging witnesses to come forward, offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Here’s what we know about the shooting that erupted in an area of the city known for its bars, restaurants and shops.
How the shooting unfolded
Uniformed officers patrolling the area heard gunfire just after 11:30 p.m. and saw “several active shooters shooting into the crowd,” Pace said.
The officers “observed several civilians suffering from gunshot wounds, lying on the sidewalk and in the street,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Sunday.
One of the officers who spotted a man shooting into the crowd drew his weapon and “fired several times in the direction of the unknown male, we believe striking him,” Outlaw said. The man then dropped his gun, ran and was able to get away, officials said.
Officials believe the shooting started after a possible “physical altercation,” Outlaw said. “At this point we don’t know whether or not the altercation that took place was between a group of individuals, or if this was tied to another group or affiliation,” she added.
Five guns were fired in the melee, police said, and two handguns were recovered at the scene. One of the guns police found had an extended magazine, according to Pace.
State and federal authorities are assisting Philadelphia police with the investigation, Outlaw said.
The 14 people struck by gunfire range in age from 17 to 69.
Police identified those who died as Gregory Jackson, 34; Alexis Quinn, 27; and a 22-year-old man whose name is not yet being released.
It’s believed one of the suspected gunmen is among the three people killed, Outlaw said. The other two victims are believed to be innocent bystanders.
One of the 11 people injured was in critical condition Sunday evening, the police department said in a news release.
How officials are responding
The shooting marked “a dark day for Philadelphia,” the police commissioner said. “While many of us were out enjoying the beautiful day in the city, a horrendous and unthinkable act happened in a very popular local and tourist hangout.”
There was an increased presence of uniformed officers on the streets of Philadelphia Saturday, Outlaw said, due to several scheduled events in the city. There were even more officers deployed Sunday evening, officials said.
“People should not be afraid,” Outlaw said Sunday. “What happened last night was an atrocity. But it’s not something that we see all the time. And again, I don’t want us to normalize this. This is not something that’s normal in the city of Philadelphia and I don’t want anyone to begin to think that it is,” Outlaw said.
The order bars all pedestrian and vehicular traffic with exceptions only for residents, local property owners and employees, licensed medical personnel, members of the media and law enforcement.
“Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Sunday, noting it left him “not just heartbroken, but angry.”
“I will continue to fight to protect our communities and urge others to advocate for stronger laws that keep guns out of the hands of violent individuals,” the mayor aid.
CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Andy Rose, Holly Yan and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: WATPFC