(PHILADELPHIA) — Nine people were wounded, two critically, when multiple gunmen fired a barrage of at least 40 shots at a crowd gathered on a sidewalk outside a Philadelphia bar Saturday night, authorities said.
The assailants fled the chaotic scene in the Kensington section of the city in a vehicle and remained at large Sunday morning.
Asked at a news conference whether the gunmen posed a threat to the community, Deputy Commissioner John Stanford noted the number injured and shell casings littering the street outside Jack’s Famous Bar and said, “I think that’s a public safety threat.”
The shooting unfolded around 10:45 p.m. as the neighborhood was bustling with more people than usual out enjoying an unseasonably warm November night, Stanford said.
He said a group was mingling on the sidewalk outside the bar when multiple gunmen exited a black vehicle sitting in the middle of East Allegheny Avenue, near Kensington Avenue, and opened fire on the crowd without warning.
“At this point in time, it just looks like these individuals may have spotted someone they wanted to shoot at, exited the vehicle and just began firing,” Stanford said, adding investigators don’t yet know who was targeted or a motive for the attack.
Stanford said the shooting occurred despite a heavy police presence already in the area. He said officers walking a beat heard the gunfire and rushed to help the men and women injured as the shooters ran back to the dark vehicle and fled. He also noted that a narcotics task force was conducting an investigation a half-block from where the shooting occurred.
“We have some brazen individuals in this city that don’t care. They don’t care how many police officers are out here and some don’t care in terms of how many people are out here,” Stanford said.
He said investigators recovered at least 40 pieces of ballistic evidence from the scene and plan to comb through surveillance video from businesses in the area in hopes of identifying the assailants.
He said seven of the victims were in stable condition and two were critical.
The shooting came amid 5% drops in both homicides and aggravated gun assaults in Philadelphia in the first 10 months of this year, compared to the same time period in 2021, according to the lasted police department crime statistics. Philadelphia surpassed its annual homicide record in 2021, recording of 562 slayings.
ABC News’ Victoria Arancio contributed to this story.
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