PHILADELPHIA – Today Mayor Jim Kenney provided updates on the July 4th shooting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, including addressing his statements at the press conference last night.
“Last night’s shooting was a truly horrific moment for our city. I’m deeply grateful that the two injured officers were not gravely injured and have been treated and released from the hospital. I’m praying for a full and speedy recovery for both of them.
“I’d like to thank the Philadelphia Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management, and our other public safety partners for their rapid response to ensure the safety of all the event’s guests. They were able to evacuate and clear the Parkway quickly and ensure that everyone got home safely.
“This is a deeply traumatizing incident for our city. No one wants to feel unsafe when they are out in public attending a celebratory event. I was down on the Parkway, as I am every year, and witnessed families enjoying what was supposed to be a great family event. Those responsible for last night’s incident should be very ashamed of their actions.
“Unfortunately, as we’ve seen across the nation and right here in Philadelphia, gun violence is all too prevalent in our communities, and the common thread through so much of this violence is the proliferation of guns. Our administration along with our public safety partners will continue to do everything we can to combat our city’s rising gun violence–including taking a record number of guns off the streets–but we are fighting an uphill battle, and we are pleading with lawmakers to help us stop the flow of guns into our city.
“I’d also like to clarify some of the comments I made at the press briefing last night at Jefferson Hospital. In a late-night, overwhelming moment of frustration, I said I was looking forward to no longer being mayor. Let me be clear, I’m incredibly grateful to be mayor of this great city and for the people who elected me to lead.
“Cities and city leaders across the country have felt the impacts of the pandemic and the escalating gun violence epidemic for years now. There has been so much tragedy in this country of late, and many of us are dealing with the trauma and our feelings of frustration, anger, and deep sadness about the issues plaguing our society. I ran for Mayor with the goal of helping every Philadelphian reach their potential. As mayor, I feel personally responsible for the well-being of every Philadelphian, and it’s a weight I carry with me every day—every waking moment. And I know that far too many residents worry daily about their safety and their loved ones too.
“I care deeply about the safety of our residents and the future of our city, and that’s why I’m disappointed with how I conveyed my sentiments last night. I made Philadelphians feel like I don’t care, and that cannot be further from the truth. I’ve said it many times before, I lay awake at night thinking about the challenges facing the residents in our city and what more we can be doing or doing differently to solve them. Being mayor comes with a lot of restless nights, so I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep.
“Our residents deserve to feel safe in their city, and our traditions cannot and will not be ruined by the scourge of gun violence. I love this city, and as Mayor there’s nothing more I want than to help solve this problem and keep our residents and visitors safe.”
Residents can find information and resources related to this incident here.