We’re listening: What happened on the Parkway Thursday night?

What prompted this panic on the Ben Franklin Parkway last night? More social media reports: Twitter, YouTube users report gunfire during “Welcome America” fireworks


Hundreds of people shared social media posts reporting gunfire and a human stampede on the Ben Franklin Parkway during Philadelphia’s Fourth of July fireworks Thursday night, although no shooting victims were reported.

Several users are explicitly asking why they can find so little news media reporting, and GunCrisis.org is struggling today with thousands of visitors seeking more information every hour — as our incoming search terms indicate, at right.

Please leave us a voice mail message and tell us what you witnessed. Include your name and neighborhood or home town and we will share the results here at GunCrisis.org. Call: (215) 882-9867.

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NBC 10 is now reporting that investigators say someone fired a BB gun into the crowd.

UPDATE: Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison says someone lit the firecracker and threw it to the ground, causing some people in the crowd to run, according to an Associated Press report, adding that Gillison says a couple of people fell to the ground.

Witnesses to the chaos last night are also responding to a Philadelphia Police Facebook post about children who were lost during the incident.

Residents have voiced confusion over distinguishing gunshots from fireworks in the past, but previous incidents were also reported on the Parkway during Fourth of July celebrations in 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, there has been no shortage of shooting victims in other sections of the city during recent months. (May, June, July)

Please share your ideas to stop the shooting in our community by using the #phillypeaceplan hash tag when communicating on social media: http://guncrisis.org/phillypeaceplan/

If you want to get involved in gun violence reduction in Philadelphia, please consider volunteering your time or making a donation to one of the organizations listed under our Network tab at the top of this site. If you would like us to add your group to our list, please email us at info@guncrisis.org.

The Gun Crisis Reporting Project is an award-winning, independent, nonprofit journalism community striving to illuminate the epidemic of homicide by gunfire in Philadelphia — and to find solutions.

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