'We live in America': Kenney reacts to shooting of officers, says he's looking forward to not being mayor

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney reacted to the news of two police officers being shot at Fourth of July festivities and says he's looking forward to the time he will no longer lead the city. 

On Monday, a large police presence responded to the 2500 block of Spring Garden Street where a massive crowd gathered to watch Jason Derulo performing at the Wawa Welcome America concert and firework show, authorities say. 

According to officials, a Philadelphia police officer assigned to highway patrol was grazed in the head and another officer, who was a member of the Montgomery County bomb squad, was shot in the shoulder. 

Both officers were taken to Jefferson University Hospital, where they were treated before being released, says Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. 

The gunfire caused the massive crowd of spectators to scatter in the middle of the fireworks show, causing chaos and confusion as people began running. 

2 officers shot near 4th of July concert, fireworks in Philadelphia, police say

Two police officers suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds when gunfire erupted at a large 4th of July fireworks display in Philadelphia.

Kenney and Outlaw spoke to reporters outside of Jefferson Hospital about the incident and gun violence in Philadelphia. 

Kenney said the day was going smooth at first and described the event as "laid back" and "chill" before shooting began. 

"[The] weather was beautiful. [The] concert was beautiful, but we live in America and we have the Second Amendment, and we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everybody they can carry a gun whenever they want," he said. "We have to come to grips with what this country is about right now. We had a beautiful day out there today except for some nitwit either shooting from a window or shooting from somewhere who has a gun and probably shouldn't have had it." 

Citing an experience visiting Canada where he said he did not worry about guns, Kenney says guns are just the reality of living in America. 

"If I had the ability to take care of guns I would, but the legislature won't let us, the U.S. Congress won't let us, the Governor does the best that he can, our Attorney General does the best that he can, but this is a gun country," he said. "It's crazy. We are the most armed country in world history and we are one of the least safest. Until Americans decide they want to give up the guns and give up the opportunity to get guns we're going to have this problem." 

When asked about his level of concern for major events coming to Philadelphia, like the World Cup in 2026, he said he's always concerned and rarely enjoys large events because of the possibility for gun violence. 

"Everything we have in the city, over the last seven years, I worry about. 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," Kenney said. "I'll be happy when I'm not here - when I'm not mayor and I can enjoy some stuff." 

When asked by FOX 29's Chris O'Connell if he was looking forward to no longer being Philadelphia's mayor, Kenney responded, "Yeah." 

Kenney, whose term is scheduled to end in 2024, later released an official statement from his after receiving backlash for his comments. 

His statement read, in part: 

"I’d also like to clarify some of the comments I made at the press briefing last night at Jefferson Hospital. In a late-night, overwhelming moment of frustration, I said I was looking forward to no longer being mayor. Let me be clear, I’m incredibly grateful to be mayor of this great city and for the people who elected me to lead."

"Cities and city leaders across the country have felt the impacts of the pandemic and the escalating gun violence epidemic for years now. There has been so much tragedy in this country of late, and many of us are dealing with the trauma and our feelings of frustration, anger, and deep sadness about the issues plaguing our society. I ran for Mayor with the goal of helping every Philadelphian reach their potential. As mayor, I feel personally responsible for the well-being of every Philadelphian, and it’s a weight I carry with me every day—every waking moment. And I know that far too many residents worry daily about their safety and their loved ones too."

"I care deeply about the safety of our residents and the future of our city, and that’s why I’m disappointed with how I conveyed my sentiments last night. I made Philadelphians feel like I don’t care, and that cannot be further from the truth. I’ve said it many times before, I lay awake at night thinking about the challenges facing the residents in our city and what more we can be doing or doing differently to solve them. Being mayor comes with a lot of restless nights, so I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep."

"Our residents deserve to feel safe in their city, and our traditions cannot and will not be ruined by the scourge of gun violence. I love this city, and as Mayor there’s nothing more I want than to help solve this problem and keep our residents and visitors safe."