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Philadelphia mayor says he’s worried about other big events after 2 officers shot during a July Fourth event

<i>KYW</i><br/>The shooting happened during Philadelphia's July Fourth celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
KYW
The shooting happened during Philadelphia's July Fourth celebration on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

By Mark Morales, Liam Reilly, Jessie Yeung and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

Two police officers were shot during a July Fourth celebration in Philadelphia, authorities said.

A 36-year-old Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer suffered a graze wound to the forehead, and a 44-year-old Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

Both officers were providing security at a July Fourth concert on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway when shots were fired around 9:47 p.m., just before the fireworks went off, Outlaw said.

Neither officer heard the gunshots before they were hit, she added.

“We don’t know if this was ricochet from celebratory gunfire, we don’t know if this was intentional,” Outlaw said. “We’re just extremely grateful this wasn’t worse than it was.”

The officers were taken to Jefferson University Hospital, treated and discharged, Outlaw said.

In a Tuesday news release, Philadelphia police identified the officer shot as Sergio Diggs, a 13-year veteran of the department. In a separate post, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office identified the injured deputy as John Foster.

Foster is a 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and has been a member of the department’s bomb squad for three years, according to the Facebook post.

“Many of our deputies provide security and specialized aid to neighboring areas for large events,” the sheriff’s office added. “While we are thankful that Deputy Foster and the injured Philadelphia officer are ok, we are troubled by the violence that turned what should have been a celebration into a near tragedy.”

Police union offering reward for information

The Philadelphia police union announced it was offering $20,000 for information leading to an arrest in connection with the shooting.

“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 John McNesby, the president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, in a news release.

“There are too many guns on our streets and far too many individuals acting recklessly with these deadly weapons,” McNesby added.

Social media video of the incident, apparently filmed from a nearby building, shows large crowds of people running along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, as lights from police cars and emergency vehicles flash in the street.

There have been no arrests so far, and no suspects in custody. Police said they are following several leads, and are asking members of the public to come forward if they have any information regarding the shooting or video capturing what happened.

Mayor: ‘I’m concerned every single day’

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the day had been “laid back, chilled,” with good weather and an enjoyable concert.

“But we live in America, and we have the Second Amendment, and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody they can carry a gun wherever they want,” he said. “This is what we have to live with.”

Kenney, who was wearing a soccer jersey during the news conference, was asked about his concerns about the upcoming 2026 World Cup and other big events coming to Philadelphia.

“I’m concerned every single day,” he said. “There’s not an event or a day where I don’t lay on my back at night look at the ceiling and worry about stuff. So everything we have had in the city over the last seven years, I worry about. I don’t enjoy the Fourth of July. I didn’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention. I didn’t enjoy the NFL Draft.”

“I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.”

Kenney’s second term as mayor is up in 2024.

“If I had the ability to take care of guns, I would. But the legislature won’t let us, the US Congress won’t let us,” he added. “This is a gun country.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the mayor said he wanted to clarify his earlier comments, adding that he is “incredibly grateful” to be mayor.

“I made Philadelphians feel like I don’t care, and that cannot be further from the truth. I’ve said it many times before, I lay awake at night thinking about the challenges facing the residents in our city and what more we can be doing or doing differently to solve them. Being mayor comes with a lot of restless nights, so I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep,” the mayor said in his statement Tuesday.

“I love this city, and as Mayor there’s nothing more I want than to help solve this problem and keep our residents and visitors safe,” Kenney added.

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CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.

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