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A scuffle may have preceded the deadly Philadelphia shooting that claimed three lives and injured 12 others.
“At this time, we believe one of the three deceased was a male involved in a physical altercation with another male who potentially initiated the shooting,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said. , during a press conference on Sunday. “These individuals eventually began shooting at each other, with both being shot, one fatally.”
Outlaw said officers responding to the scene began dealing with gunshot victims when another officer observed a man firing a handgun into the large crowd, with the officer drawing his gun and firing “several times in the direction of the unknown man, we think to hit him.”
The stranger then dropped his handgun and fled on foot, escaping the police who were pursuing him.
MASS SHOOTING IN PHILADELPHIA LEAVES 3 KILLED AND INJURED AT LEAST 11
The shooting happened on South Street, a popular area of the city for sightseeing and nightlife. Police said they had a heightened presence in the area before the shooting, but noted it was a large area for officers to cover.
The sound of gunfire sent crowds of people scattering in different directions, with some of those not involved in the altercation being hit by the gunfire.
“You can imagine there were hundreds of individuals taking advantage of South Street, as they do every weekend, when this shooting broke out,” Philadelphia Police Department Inspector DF Pace said Sunday. , about the incident.
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Police are still looking for the suspect who may have been injured by a response officer, asking the community to send in any tips that may help lead to an arrest.
“Yesterday was a dark day for Philadelphia,” Outlaw said. “While many of us were enjoying the beautiful day in the city, a horrible and unthinkable act happened.”