Three teens were shot blocks away from the Wawa Welcome America! July 4 celebration last night.
Police said an officer witnessed a man, 16, shoot two other men, aged 17 and 19, both in the leg, around 9:20 p.m. near Love Park at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard in Center City.
Officers chased the alleged shooter to 17th Street and JFK Boulevard, where he allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at officers.
Police opened fire and the teen was grazed in the chest. All three of those shot are in stable condition at area hospitals.
As police were attempting to bring the incident under control, about 200 protesters from Occupy’s National Gathering marched into the area with plans to cross JFK Boulevard near 16th Street and catch the fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The demonstrators funneled into Thomas Paine Plaza in front of the Municipal Services Building. Police, batons drawn, lined the sidewalk in front of the plaza, joined by mounted patrol officers and bicycle police. The units formed a barrier between marchers and the still-active crime scenes where the shootings occurred.
A Civil Affairs Unit official addressed the protesters, notifying them of the three shootings, advising them the area was unsafe and asking them not to add to the chaos. “The best thing you can do is enjoy yourselves among yourselves and say a prayer for the city of Philadelphia,” he said.
One group of protesters decided to march back to their camp, while another group worked out a compromise with police, who allowed them to cross through the line as long as they gave up their signs.
One man was arrested for attempting to cross the line of officers while still holding a sign. A second man was arrested during the march in an unrelated incident.