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Two Philly police officers shot during fireworks celebration

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NJ.com Staff

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Two police officers were shot at a Philadelphia July 4th fireworks celebration Monday night, police officials said.

The two cops were shot near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Daniele Outlaw said in a news conference early Tuesday.

Police officials said a Philadelphia highway patrol officer suffered a graze wound to the head, and an officer assigned to the Montgomery County bomb squad was struck in the right shoulder.

Both officers were taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where they were treated and released, Outlaw said.

“The good news is that both officers have since been treated and released, and what really could have been a chaotic scene or a catastrophic scene wasn’t today,” Outlaw said.

The commissioner said no arrests have been made and urged anyone who has any information to contact the police’s tip line at 215.686.TIPS (8477). She said police did not know “if it was a ricochet from celebratory gunfire …. or intentional.”

Philadelphia police were advising people to avoid the area as their investigation unfolded. In a tweet, the department urged anyone looking to reconnect with someone who was at the event to meet at 1901 Vine St. in front of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Social media posts and TV news reports showed the chaotic scene as people attending the fireworks frantically try and leave the scene.

NBC10 obtained a photo supplied by the police union president who said it shows a bullet lodged in an officer’s cap. Inside the cap was a memorial card for a Philadelphia police chaplain who recently died, the TV station reported.

Outlaw called that “miraculous.”

The shooting came hours after a gunman killed six people and injured at least 30 others at a July 4th Parade in Illinois.

An obviously frustrated Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney blamed gun violence on the easy access to firearms, saying the shooting marred “a laid back, chill day” of celebration in the city. He blamed lawmakers, the U.S. Supreme Court and the nation’s gun culture.

“This is a gun country, he said. “We are the most armed country in world history and we’re one of the least safest.”

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