A fight over a double parking lot left a delivery driver with gunshot wounds in one of Philadelphia’s busiest and most popular shopping districts on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The incident happened around 1:52 p.m. in Rittenhouse Square at the intersection of 17th and Chestnut streets. A witness, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10 that a food delivery driver doing a pickup was double-parked in the area, stranding a couple in another car.
“I was on the tables here outside the Paris baguette shop. I was waiting for friends,” a woman who witnessed the fight and shooting told NBC10. “It wasn’t even a parking space. The guy was double parked next to him. He wouldn’t stop ten feet so he could get out of the car.”
A fight over a parking space led to a delivery driver being shot in one of the city center‘s busiest shopping areas in the middle of the day. NBC10’s Frances Wang speaks to a witness and has the latest on the search for a gunman.
According to police, the delivery driver and the man began to argue and it quickly turned physical. The delivery driver knocked the man out in the scuffle, police said. When the man regained consciousness, he pulled out a gun and opened fire, shooting the driver in the face and back. The shooter fled in a small white van with a woman inside.
Police initially said the two men were shot, but later said only the delivery driver was shot.
A Good Samaritan rushed the delivery driver to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he is in critical condition. He is expected to survive after undergoing surgery, however. No one else was injured in the incident.
“It was a consensual fight between two parties. It looks like the delivery driver knocked him to the ground,” Philadelphia Police Captain John Walker said. “And obviously he got mad that he got knocked to the ground and lost the fight. Again, swallow your pride, get in your car and go home with whoever you’re with instead. to pull out a gun and try to correct the situation.
The area is packed with shops, offices and apartments, and NBC10’s helicopter showed heavy police activity at the intersection as people drove by.
“Think of the number of people here with bullets that could have been hurt here. Not only that, but the psychological impact, the impact now being made in the downtown core that has already struggled with COVID and other issues,” Walker said. “It’s a terrible situation and that person over there who was clearly a friend of his in that car, and it looks like an individual who just made a mistake, let’s do the right thing and surrender.”
Police placed crime scene tape around a car near the corner. Officers recovered a firearm but did not immediately make an arrest.
“I hate to say it. But living in Philadelphia right now, it went on all the time,” the eyewitness told NBC10. “You become immune to it. You become immune to violence and guns and random shootings. And we keep saying we need to do something about it, but so far I don’t don’t see much to do.”
There are additional resources for individuals or communities who have experienced gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.