Another US shooting incident, this time during Philadelphia’s Fourth of July celebrations, has left 2 police officers injured and caused scores of frightened Americans to flee.
The shooting occurred on Monday night in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum during a fireworks celebration marking Independence Day.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the two officers at the event sustained graze wounds and were treated and released from the hospital.
Outlaw told reporters at a news conference in the early hours of Tuesday that the suspected shooter(s) in the incident remained at large.
The shooting prompted a stampede among the masses gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with videos on social media showing frightened people fleeing from the scene.
"America is a horror movie," a Twitter user wrote alongside a clip that captured the panic on the ground while fireworks continued to explode into the night sky.
An earlier mass shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, left at least six people dead and about three dozen more hospitalized.
Authorities said a gunman on a rooftop opened fire on the parade in Highland Park minutes after it began, sending marchers, parents and children fleeing in terror.
Fear of shootings marred all others and canceled many July 4 Independence Day celebrations across the country, reviving concerns among some US officials about the rampant gun violence in society.
“This is a gun country. It’s crazy. We are the most armed country in world history and we are one of the least safe,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney complained, lambasting pro-gun advocates in America.
“Until Americans decide that they want to give up the guns, and give up the opportunity to get guns, we’re gonna have this problem,” he said.
Kenney said he was so weary of having to worry about gun violence and “bad” things happening all the time that he will be “happy” to not be mayor anymore.
“I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. I’ll be happy when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff," he said.
In the meantime, mass shootings are so frequent that the general public seems to have become desensitized to the concept.
The Gun Violence Archive, GVA, which is an independent data collection organization, has documented 212 mass shootings that have occurred this year up to and including May 25th.
GVA defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed excluding the shooter. The United States ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings, the year before there were 611 and 2019 included 417.
As for school shootings, in 2021 alone there were 34 shooting incidents at educational institutions the highest since the GVA established its database.