Five Arrested After Shooting at Religious Celebration

( – An Eid al-Fitr celebration in West Philadelphia was interrupted by an exchange of gunfire this year, leaving multiple people injured during one of the most important and sacred Islamic holidays.

On Wednesday, April 10th, police said at least 30 gunshots rang out around 2:26 PM on Wyalusing Avenue, near the 4700 block at Clara Muhammad Square. Three people suffered gunshot wounds, one of whom was shot by an officer. The cop was assigned to patrol the area during the end of Ramadan celebration when he encountered a 15-year-old boy armed with an assault rifle.

According to Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel, the officer asked the boy to drop the weapon and then opened fire at the teen when he failed to do so, striking him in the arm and leg. After placing the boy in her patrol car, the officer transported the suspect to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). He survived and is in stable condition.

Around 1,000 people attended the Eid event in West Philadelphia where the shooting erupted. Two bystanders were hit: a 22-year-old man was shot in the stomach and a 15-year-old boy in his hand. Medics of the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) took the 15-year-old to CHOP, and police brought the 22-year-old man to the Penn Presbyterian Hospital. Both are in stable condition.

A fourth person was also injured during the chaos, but not from gunshot wounds. A 15-year-old girl was accidentally struck by a police patrol car, fracturing her leg. PFD medics transported the girl to CHOP where she was stabilized.

Philadelphia law enforcement believed the suspects were part of two different groups who were firing at one another in the park until an officer intervened. Five people have been taken into custody: two 15-year-old boys, one of whom was shot; a 16-year-old boy; a 16-year-old girl; and a 21-year-old man. Police recovered five weapons from the scene.

The officer involved in the shooting is currently on temporary administrative duty until a standard investigation by internal affairs is complete.

City leaders and Muslim community representatives held a press conference on Friday, April 12th, to address the incident.

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