A fight over double parking left a delivery driver shot and critically wounded in one of Philadelphia's busiest and most popular shopping districts 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 a food delivery driver making a pickup was double parked in the area, blocking a couple in another car.
"I was on the tables here in front of the Paris Baguette store. I was waiting for some friends," a woman who witnessed the fight and shooting told NBC10. "Wasn't even a parking space. The guy was double parked beside him. Didn't want to pull up ten feet so the guy could get out of the car."
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Police said the delivery driver and the man began to argue and it soon turned physical. The delivery driver knocked the man unconscious in the fight, police said. When the man regained consciousness, he pulled out a gun and opened fire, shooting the driver in the face and back. The gunman fled in a small white van with a woman inside.
Police initially said both men were shot but later said it was only the delivery driver who was shot.
A good Samaritan rushed the delivery driver to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was in critical condition. He is expected to survive, however, after undergoing surgery. No one else was injured during the incident.
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"It was a consensual fight between two parties. It looks like the delivery driver did knock him to the ground," Philadelphia Police Department Capt. John Walker said. "And obviously he got upset over the fact that he was knocked to the ground and lost the fight. Again, just swallow your pride, get in your car and go home with your person that you're with instead of pulling out a gun and trying to correct the situation. That's not going to fix anything."
The area is full of shops, offices and apartments, and NBC10's helicopter showed heavy police activity at the intersection as people walked by.
"Think about how many people were out here with bullets flying that could've been injured here. Not only that, but the psychological impact, impact now done to Center City that's already struggled with COVID and other issues," Walker said. "It's a terrible situation and that person out there, which clearly was a friend of his in that car, and this looks like an individual who just made a mistake, lets do the right thing and turn yourself in."
Police placed crime scene tape around a car near the corner of the street. Officers recovered a gun but did not immediately make an arrest.
"I hate to say it, but living in Philadelphia right now, this has gone on all the time," the witness told NBC10. "You become immune to it. You become immune to violence and guns and random shootings. And we keep saying we gotta do something about it, but so far I don't see us doing much."
There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.