Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on Monday said he stresses so much about big events coming to the city, particularly in the wake of a nationwide spike in gun violence, that he looks forward to the day he is no longer mayor. His current term doesn’t end until 2024.
“Everything we have in the city, over the last seven years, I worry about,” Kenney said at a press conference outside of Jefferson University Hospital, where two officers were treated and released after being shot during a July 4 fireworks and concert show earlier that evening. “I don't enjoy the Fourth of July, I don’t enjoy the Democratic National Convention, I didn’t enjoy the NFL Draft. I’m waiting for something bad to happen all the time. I’ll be happy when I’m not here – when I’m not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff.”
Kenney’s office and Philadelphia Police have not responded to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News.
One of the injured officers was grazed in the head, while another was shot in the arm, according to NBC 10.
Kenney, who described the event as “chill” before gunfire rang out, went on to criticize the country’s lack of gun safety measures and blamed the Republican-controlled state Legislature for preventing Philadelphia from enacting stricter gun control laws.
“This is a gun country,” Kenney said. “It’s crazy. We are the most armed country in world history and we are one of the least safe. So until Americans decide that they want to give up the guns and give up the opportunity to get guns, we are going to have this problem.”
Monday’s shooting was an ugly ending to an otherwise peaceful 16-day festival, which concluded with a concert headlined by pop music artist Jason Derulo and a fireworks show. The abrupt gunfire caused several minutes of mass hysteria as thousands of attendees began running, creating both chaos and confusion among onlookers. The gunman was not immediately identified or arrested.
The festival’s shooting came just hours after a deadly shooting took place in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, where a gunman opened fire from a nearby rooftop on a July 4 parade, killing 6 people and injuring 36 others.
Cover thumbnail photo: Rodolfo Valdivia Aceves (Bexar County Jail)