Multiple shooters fired into a crowd of hundreds on South Street’s entertainment corridor which is lined with bars and restaurants. In the wake of the shooting, the Philadelphia Police Department asked residents to stay away from the area while emergency personnel worked the scene.
During a press conference early Sunday morning, Philadelphia Police Inspector D.F. Pace said a police officer witnessed the shooting and was “within 10-15 yards” of one of the shooters when he returned fire on one of the suspects.
"The officer engaged the shooter, and as a result of that brave officer – and again we are uncertain whether he was struck or not – but the officer was able to get that individual to drop his gun and flee," Pace said.
Police say that one of the suspects dropped their weapon and ran off. Officials recovered two guns at the scene, including one with an extended magazine.
One woman and two men who were all shot several times have died from their injuries. The other 12 victims are expected to recover.
Authorities are reviewing videos from the many surveillance cameras in and around South Street in hopes of finding clues that will lead them to the suspects.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said: “The events that transpired last evening on South Street are beyond devastating. Once again, we see lives lost and people injured in yet another horrendous, brazen, and despicable act of gun violence.”
According to the National Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 240 mass shootings so far this year.