NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Three teens were wounded Sunday night when gunfire erupted at a block party/birthday party in North Philadelphia.
Mobile phone video from 18th and Jefferson early Sunday evening shows a growing crowd and a festive atmosphere. However, around 9:30 p.m. the vibe changed.
"All of a sudden I heard five gunshots,” said “Robert,” who asked that we not give his full name. “Everybody just started scattering. Everybody ducked and just started running."
Kyla Griffin lives right near the intersection. She says she heard the shots and saw the crowd scatter.
"I don't remember seeing anybody with a weapon, but everybody was running as if they had seen something horrific."
Three partygoers were wounded by gunfire an 18-year old man,and two young women —ages 19 and 16. Police say it's not clear who did the shooting or why.
"They could have been someone who came there specifically to disrupt it,” said police department spokesman Captain Sekou Kinebrew. “Or it could have been someone who was there, got into some sort of dispute with someone, and then pulled a gun out."
A man calling himself Malc Millionz, says he has been running the annual party on the last Sunday in June since 2013.He says he sends his condolences to the shooting victims, but insists he does what he can to keep things under control.
"Everything that goes on outside the party, I can't control,” he told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon. “But I know I had security at the front (to) make sure everybody back here is safe
'Millionz' says if the party returns next year, he will increase security even further.
The neighborhood's likely next state representative sure hopes so
Kenyatta Malcolm (a Democrat running in a deep blue district) lives half a block from the party, and the shooting, and says he's fed up with incidents that feed stereotypes about this part of town.
"It's extremely frustrating because you have event like this that happen and that becomes story that gets told of communities like North Philly."