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Parkway Shooting $20,000 Reward; Does Kenney Want to be Mayor?; SEPTA Transit Chief Nestel Resigns
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/05/22 3:18 pm | updated: 07/05/22 3:30 pm
 
There is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for the shooting of two police officers at Philadelphia's 4th of July Fireworks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The shooting happened around 9:47 p.m. near the 2400 block of Spring Garden Street shortly after the start of the fireworks. 36-year-old Sergio Diggs, a 13-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department assigned to the highway patrol, was grazed in the head. The bullet lodged in his cap. 44-year-old John Foster, a Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy assigned to the bomb squad task force, was shot in the right shoulder. He is a 17-year veteran. They were taken to to Jefferson University Hospital, treated, and released. The shooting caused a panicked evacuation of the Parkway area. The thousands gathered for the festivities turned around and hastily exited. The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 has put up the reward money. There are no suspects and no weapons were found.

Philadelphia Mayor Kenney addressed the press on Monday evening, 7/4, outside of Jefferson Hospital where the wounded officers had been taken following the Parkway shooting. He was certainly frank about his feelings about his job, but not quite the resolve you'd want to hear from your leader in hard times.

Kenney: "There's not an event or a day that I don't lay on my back and look at the ceiling and worry about stuff. So everything we have in the city over the last seven years I worry about. I don't enjoy 4th of July. I didn't enjoy the Democratic National Convention. I didn't enjoy the NFL Draft. I'm waiting for something bad to happen all the time. So, I'll be happy when I'm not here, when I'm not mayor, when I can enjoy some stuff.” Reporter: “You're looking forward to not being mayor?” Kenney: “Yea.”

On Tuesday, 7/5, He released a statement that read in part: "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.” (see full statement below)



SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III suddenly retired on Tuesday morning, 7/5, according to SEPTA’s GM and CEO Leslie S. Richards. Richards says that SEPTA Police Insp. Charles Lawson has been named acting chief. Lawson has been part of SEPTA Police for 28 years. A search for a new permanent transit chief will begin immediately. No reason was given for Nestel III's retirement.

"The safety and security of customers and employees is SEPTA’s top priority, and plans have been put in place to ensure continuity of operations for the Transit Police Department during this transition," Richards said. "SEPTA will continue to advance new safety and security efforts, including work with health professionals to engage members of the vulnerable population as part of the SCOPE (Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement) initiative, as well as Outreach Specialists who are helping reinforce the rules for riding and serving as eyes and ears for Transit Police. We are also actively recruiting for new police officers to join the SEPTA Transit Police Department."

 
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(2) responses

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 07/05 3:27 pm
 
Mayor Kenney Statement -

"Last night's shooting was a truly horrific moment for our city. I'm deeply grateful that the two injured officers were not gravely injured and have been treated and released from the hospital. I'm praying for a full and speedy recovery for both of them.

"I'd like to thank the Philadelphia Police Department, the Office of Emergency Management, and our other public safety partners for their rapid response to ensure the safety of all the event's guests. They were able to evacuate and clear the Parkway quickly and ensure that everyone got home safely.

"This is a deeply traumatizing incident for our city. No one wants to feel unsafe when they are out in public attending a celebratory event. I was down on the Parkway, as I am every year, and witnessed families enjoying what was supposed to be a great family event. Those responsible for last night's incident should be very ashamed of their actions.

"Unfortunately, as we've seen across the nation and right here in Philadelphia, gun violence is all too prevalent in our communities, and the common thread through so much of this violence is the proliferation of guns. Our administration along with our public safety partners will continue to do everything we can to combat our city's rising gun violence-including taking a record number of guns off the streets-but we are fighting an uphill battle, and we are pleading with lawmakers to help us stop the flow of guns into our city.

"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."

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 07/05 3:30 pm
 
Bullet lodged in Sergio Diggs' cap.

 

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