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Philadelphia July 4 shooting: Witnesses describe chaotic scenes as police officers are shot on Ben Franklin Parkway

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Those who attended the July 4 festival on Ben Franklin Park Road to watch fireworks ran to safety after gunfire struck two police officers on Monday night.

Eighteen-year-old Ryan Spence of Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania told Action News he was trampled during the commotion, but got up and ran to City Hall with his mother.

“Everybody tried to pick me up, but the couple that tried to pick me up before they took off ran away, they said, ‘I’m so sorry’ and they ran. And my mom found me while I was lying on the bed. I feel like my sternum is being kicked in,” said Ryan Spence of Bensalem, Pa. said.

Spence said they hid in the bushes until they knew it was safe.

“I was like, ‘I’m going to die. I’m going to die.’ I never thought I’d have to say that. “I’m so sorry,” Spence said.

Michael Saks of South Philadelphia had just finished cooking for his family and decided to stop by the event to watch the fireworks.

Saks said he started recording the festivities on his phone and “next thing I knew, there were people coming to me.”

Saks said there were about six officers around him and that they were asking people to move out as they moved towards the disruption.

“It’s really like running for bulls, where you just hear people running and running and not coming back,” says Saks.

Saks said he ran four out of five blocks until he felt safe.

He said it was difficult to decipher whether the sound was fireworks or gunfire.

Saks said: “My heart sank because I was so close to it.

Chopper 6 is above as people run on the Parkway, knocking over chairs and jumping over obstacles after shots were fired around 9:45pm

A 36-year-old Philadelphia police officer was grazed on the forehead and the 44-year-old Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff was grazed on the shoulder. Both officers have been discharged.

“The way the Parkway was set up, there was a fence, a metal fence, so people started running towards them, they ran over them and they ran over them. I saw people walking and falling. Watching parents trying tried to run away from everything Saks said.

Saks said he was running next to a family. He hears the father tell his children they are fine, ‘we’re getting away with everything right now.’

“As a childless person, I can’t imagine what they went through when they just saw a caravan full of people running towards them and they had to do the same,” Saks said.

One of our News Action teams was caught up in the chaos when people suddenly started running away from the Parkway.

Families abandoned strollers, blankets and other belongings. Some of them lost their shoes during the chaos.

It is unclear exactly how many people were injured, but as witnesses described, families were desperate to get out of the area.

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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-fourth-of-july-shooting-party-on-the-parkway-police-officers-shot-ben-franklin/12019620/ Philadelphia July 4 shooting: Witnesses describe chaotic scenes as police officers are shot on Ben Franklin Parkway

Mike Fahey

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