SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A man has died and an off-duty Philadelphia police officer is in the hospital after a shooting at a block party in South Philadelphia late Wednesday night. Investigators now say neither man was the intended targets.
12th District police officers came to the bedside of their wounded fellow Officer Fred Attakora Thursday as homicide detectives scoured the crime scene where the officer was shot and a 23-year-old man was murdered.
"I heard people was running and my husband said we have to go inside. People get inside," neighbor Iver Boadi told FOX 29.
Neighbors on the block say it all happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday night at a July 4th party that's when fireworks were interrupted by gunfire coming from an adjoining street.
"We believe the two people who were hit were hit by errand gunfire down range. They weren't the intended targets," Homicide Unit Captain John Ryan said at a noontime press conference. .
"It's just sad that he's no more," the brother-in-law of the murder victim said.
Murder victim Michael Boateng lived on South Felton Street. He worked for a local cab company. FOX 29 spoke with his brother-in-law and a co-worker.
"He's a very cool, quiet person and very loving--loved kids," Job Boateng told FOX 29.
"He was a nice guy, young, real sweet. He used to pick up school students for us," cab dispatcher Terry Demarco said.
Homicide detectives returned the the scene looking for surveillance video of the shooting. Video obtained by FOX 29 shows partygoers and neighbors run for cover.
"The investigation still in its early stages," Captain Ryan added.
There's a $10,000 reward being offered by the FOP for information leading to an arrest. Officer Attakora is 38 years old. He's a 3 year veteran of the force. He's married with two children. Police say fortunately no vital organs were hit by the gunfire. The wounded officer could be released as early as Friday.