Off-Duty Officer Hurt, Man Dies as Gunfire Rings Out at July 4th Block Party

Philadelphia Police Officer Officer Fred Attakora was hurt and Michael Boateng was killed when bullets from a nearby shooting struck them.

A man died and an off-duty officer was injured in a double shooting at a July 4th block party in Southwest Philadelphia.

Michael Boateng, 24, and 12th District off-duty Officer Fred Attakora were at the party on Buist Avenue near S. 70th Street when bullets flew shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday. Both men were struck in the shooting.

Witnesses told police they initially thought the gunshots were fireworks when they saw the officer fall to the ground.

"No one even thought it was gunshots apparently," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

An off-duty cab driver was killed at a Fourth of July party where an off-duty officer was also injured. Michael Boateng was 24 and had a 6-year-old daughter. Now, Philadelphia police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Both victims were scooped up and rushed to the hospital. Boateng died a short time later. Attakora, 38, underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to his side and arm and is expected to survive, police said.

"He is very fortunate, according to surgeons, that there is no significant internal damage," Ross said.

NBC10 / Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Police Officer Fred Attakora was off-duty at a Southwest Philadelphia block party when he was struck by nearby gunfire on July 4th. See Larger

Neither shooting victim appeared to be the intended target as the shooter opened fire on another man on nearby Muhlfeld Street, Police Capt. John Ryan.

Attakora is a married three-year police veteran with two young children, police said.

Boateng is a cab driver with a 6-year-old daughter, whose loved ones said he preferred to work a lot.

He was a "very hard-working person," said his brother-in-law, Job Boateng. "Don't have too many friends. Very quiet."

Boateng's family said he didn't usually go out, but at the urging of friends he made an exception on the 4th of July. 

"He don't deserve this," Job Boateng said. "He don't deserve this."

Several people were at the party, which was advertised to the Liberian community on social media, at the time of the shooting and investigators hope that witnesses come forward. If you have any information on the shooting, please contact the Philadelphia Police Department.

A double shooting in Southwest Philly has left an off-duty officer injured and another person dead. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross provides an update.

The Fraternal Order of Police has announced a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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