Three people shot outside Eid celebration in Philadelphia

Dozens of police officers respond to incident near Pennsylvania event hosting about 1,000 people

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At least three people were shot and five arrested in a shooting outside an event marking Eid Al Fitr in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, city police said.

No deaths were reported.

The shooting occurred in midafternoon when about 30 gunshots were heard, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said at a news conference.

Two groups of people began firing at each other while those attending the event began fleeing the scene, he said.

It was not immediately clear what had led to the shooting.

Upwards of 1,000 people had gathered at an outdoor event in Clara Muhammad Square Park outside the Philadelphia Masjid mosque to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

“We were just having a celebration for the Eid, something we do every year,” an unnamed witness told a local ABC News affiliate. “We were enjoying ourselves.

“We just heard shots, everyone just started running and scattering around.”

Dozens of police officers responded after gunfire was heard near the celebration in the Parkside neighbourhood of Philadelphia, the largest city in the eastern state of Pennsylvania.

“Eid should always be a time of joy for our Muslim neighbours – and I grieve for every member of the Philadelphia Muslim community whose celebration was shattered by gun violence today,” Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said in a post on X.

Zania Weatherford told the Associated Press that said she had been in the park enjoying the celebration and had gone to her car when she heard 20-30 gunshots and saw people running across the street from the park.

She stayed in her car, scared and unsure of what to do, then called relatives who were also at the event to make sure they were safe.

“This is just a celebration of life for God to forgive us for our sins,” Ms Weatherford said. “There’s one month that God chains the devil down, so whoever did this can’t even blame the devil.”

Officers took five people into custody and four weapons were found at the scene, Mr Bethel added.

One suspect, a 15-year-old boy who police said had a gun, was shot by police and sustained wounds to his shoulder and leg. A man also was shot in the stomach, and another young person received a wound to his hand.

The injured were being treated at hospitals, CBS News reported.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey said his office had spoken to local officials.

“My office has been in touch with local officials on the shooting at a Eid Al Fitr event in Philadelphia,” Mr Casey wrote in a post on X.

Updated: April 10, 2024, 9:28 PM