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2 police officers shot during Philadelphia Fourth of July festivities

Videos posted on social media showed the chaos as crowds in Philadelphia were fleeing the area as fireworks went off in the distance.
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Police lights at night on a car.

WASHINGTON — Two police officers were shot in Philadelphia Monday night as thousands gathered for a Fourth of July concert and fireworks show, authorities said. Both were treated and released from the hospital within a couple hours. 

The incident happened around 9:47 p.m. near the Philadelphia Museum of Art as people watched a fireworks show near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The festivities were part of the last day of the WaWa Welcome America festival

Videos posted on social media showed crowds fleeing the area as the fireworks continued in the distance.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference that a 36-year-old officer with the highway patrol suffered a graze to the forehead and a 44-year-old deputy with the Montgomery County bomb squad sustained a wound to the shoulder. 

Commissioner Outlaw said they're still investigating but won't rest until they have someone in custody. She added that they're grateful the situation wasn't worse. 

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management warned in a tweet that there had been a "security incident" and told everyone to avoid the area. 

Independence Day celebrations across the country had already been rattled by a shooting Monday morning that left at least six people dead and wounded at least 30 at a parade in Illinois.

Authorities said 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo III was named as a person of interest in the shooting and was taken into police custody Monday evening after an hourslong manhunt in and around Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s north shore.  

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out prime viewing points early in the day for the annual celebration. Dozens of fired bullets sent hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fleeing. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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