Gov. Tom Wolf declares Juneteenth holiday throughout Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania becomes the 45th state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. 

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law in 1863, but it was not until June 19, 1865 when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas were told of the abolition of slavery.

That date is known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day and Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf declared it a holiday throughout the state.

Related: Germantown remembers, celebrates the 154th anniversary of Juneteenth

Juneteenth observances usually include the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and the singing of different black American hymns, and in Philadelphia, many observed the day at the African American Museum.

Hannah and Jihan were at the museum and say they’re happy to see that the governor has made Juneteenth a holiday in the Commonwealth. 

“I think that’s really exciting. I’m overwhelmed,” said Hannah.

“I actually already considered it to be a holiday in Pennsylvania, so it goes right along with what it should be,” Jihan added. 

Yvonne Haughton, also celebrating the day at the museum, says she hopes the declaration of the day as a holiday helps educate more people on what it’s all about.

“I think it’s pretty nice. I think it’s really cool, but honestly I think it’s more important that people recognize Juneteenth than to have it recognized as a statewide holiday,” she said.

She also wants to see more done for the day than just a declaration.

“We can make something a state holiday, but if we still have to go to work and we still have to deal with the same conditions that we do on a regular basis, I don’t see it making much difference,” she added.

At the museum, crafts, history lessons and re-enactors took over and visitors celebrated the day.

“It’s really a time to reflect if we celebrated 154 years ago. I think we might as well keep up the tradition,” said Hannah Wallace, the museum’s educational programming manager.

Wallace says not only is the day a chance to look at breaking free from slavery, they’re also screening a film on reconstruction.

“So we’re looking at the before and the after,” she added. 

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‘Felt Like I Was Going To Vomit’: Pennsylvania Woman Says She Found Dead Bird Inside Canned Spinach While Making Dinner

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A Pennsylvania woman says she found a dead bird inside canned spinach while she was making dinner. Cherie Lyons, of Chambersburg, posted photos to Facebook last week of the dead animal she says she found inside a can of Del Monte leaf spinach.

Lyons told the York Daily Record it took her a couple of minutes to realize it was a bird at the bottom of the canned spinach.

“I immediately felt like I was going to vomit,” she told the York Daily Record. “I was sick for the next whole day.”

Lyons claims when she reached out to Del Monte, the company offered her a $10 check and asked for the bird to be sent back to them.

“When I called the company, they acted like they didn’t believe me,” she explained to the York Daily Record.

Del Monte said it is investigating the matter.

“Del Monte Foods is committed to providing high quality, safe and nutritious foods. We are working with the consumer to gather more information and investigate the matter. We implement strict controls throughout our operations to ensure our products meet the highest levels of quality, safety, and purity,” the company told York Daily Record.

Lyons has not yet sent the bird back to Del Monte and has reached out to lawyers.

KYW In Depth: Forgotten heroes of World War II

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — KYW Newsradio goes in depth with a special podcast presentation on the forgotten heroes of World War II: black soldiers.

African-American soldiers played a key role in D-Day, yet their stories remain largely untold.

KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg shared the story of several of those men from the Philadelphia area.

At 97 years old, William Thompson is still trying to honor fellow vet — and Overbrook High School classmate — Waverly Woodson, who died in 2005. Woodson was one of the few black soldiers known to have served on Omaha Beach that fateful day.

Related: Forgotten warriors: Recognizing the black soldiers of D-Day

Gregg and KYW Newsradio anchor Carol MacKenzie take a closer look at the layered, complex fight to honor Woodson 75 years later with the Congressional Medal of Honor — an award given to only a few black soldiers from World War II.

Below, they briefly discuss why the recognition is so important: 

Gregg: Now let me just tell you a little bit about Bill (William Thompson). Bill is … 97, but he has fire in his eyes like you would never believe. He had a walker, and if you blinked the man was gone. He was Speedy Gonzales. … And he has all these records from Waverly’s service.

MacKenzie: And you mentioned (Waverly’s) wife had said that he never really spoke about (the war). And when you talk to a lot of World War II veterans, they never spoke about it. One reason is because many of them are incredibly humble about what they did. But there is, of course, the other reason, which is, it was horrific.

Where does the push for Woodson’s recognition stand now? Listen to the full podcast below:

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Philadelphia Police Foundation Announces ‘Market Street Run For Blue’ To Benefit Officers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new race is coming to Philadelphia. The five-mile run will benefit Philadelphia police officers.

The Philadelphia Police Foundation introduced the “Market Street Run for Blue” at 2nd and Market Streets in Old City on Wednesday.

This run will happen on Oct. 27 and will benefit the Philadelphia Police Foundation’s mission of funding equipment, training, programs and technology for the department.

It costs $40 to register.

Click here for more information.

Numerous Tortured, Dead Animals Found In Chester County, Police Say

AVONDALE, Pa. (CBS) – Authorities in Chester County are investigating an animal cruelty case after numerous animals were found tortured and others dead on a property in Upper Oxford Township. Police say the animals were discovered shortly before 10:30 p.m. on the 100 block of Street Road on Tuesday.

Police say the animals were found after they were dispatched on a welfare check of children who were playing in the roadway.

According to police, when officers arrived on scene they came across the abused and deceased animals on the property where the children resided.

Police are investigating the incident and are holding a press conference at 3 p.m.

Stay with for this developing story.

Flyers Sign Center Kevin Hayes To 7-Year Contract

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The will he or won’t he is finally over. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher officially has his second-line center.

The Flyers on Wednesday signed center Kevin Hayes to a seven-year contract extension worth a $50 million with a $7.14 million annual average value.

Hayes is coming off a career season in which he scored 55 points in 71 games split between the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.

Now signed, Hayes figures to slot in as the Flyers’ 2-C behind Sean Couturier and ahead of Nolan Patrick. It allows Claude Giroux to move back to left wing, where he believes he’s best suited for at this point in his career, and allows Patrick to develop at the NHL level with less pressure.

Flyers Place Defenseman Andrew MacDonald On Unconditional Waivers For Purpose Of Terminating Contract

“He brings a solid 200-foot game,” Fletcher said of Hayes on June 10. “He has been a very good penalty killer in this league. He plays well away from the puck. He understands the game, he has hockey sense. He can contribute offensively. We gave up 281 goals last year, we have to get better.”

“I think he’s a guy who’s familiar with our coach and our coach is familiar with him,” Fletcher added. “That will help. There shouldn’t be any learning curve. “He should step in seamlessly. I don’t think there is anything more to say than that he helps us on both ends of the ice.”

The 27-year-old Hayes played four seasons, from 2014 to 2018, under Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault while both were with the Rangers. He registered a career high 25 goals under Vigneault in 2017-18.

Is Mitch Marner Worth Four First-Round Picks For Flyers?

During his five-year career, Hayes has averaged 18 goals and 45 points but is coming off a career season. The Flyers hope Hayes can duplicate the success he had last season. Still, Hayes has been a productive NHL player with tremendous size at 6-foot-5 and respectable skating ability for his stature.

At the minimum, Hayes provides the Flyers with center depth that they didn’t have last season.

Fletcher acquired Hayes’ negotiating rights from Winnipeg in exchange for a fifth-round pick on June 3, a move that allowed the Flyers to sell themselves to the center before he could reach free agency on July 1. It worked.

By adding Hayes, Justin Braun from the San Jose Sharks and acquiring Matt Niskanen from the Washington Capitals, Fletcher has crossed off three major items on his offseason shopping list. He did so by being aggressive and forgoing draft night and free agency.

With a second-line center locked up and two veteran D-men with a history of playing big minutes, the summer of Fletcher is taking shape. The Flyers still have to sign a backup goalie to pair up Carter Hart and take care of their restricted free agents – notably Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim.

The Flyers have the No. 11 pick in Friday’s NHL draft and eight total picks this weekend. With Fletcher open to moving his first-round pick, it could be another busy week for the orange and black.

Stay tuned. Perhaps the Flyers are just getting started.

Power Issues Disrupt Amtrak, New Jersey Transit Service

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)Amtrak says passengers can expect residual delays this afternoon after an overhead power issue affected trains leaving New York and coming into Philadelphia on Wednesday morning. The issue, which was reported around 10:30 a.m., left several passengers stuck on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains for nearly an hour with no power and no air conditioning, according to sister station CBS2.

The issue which reportedly originated in the area of Trenton and Philadelphia was resolved but caused delays on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and on SEPTA.

Amtrak says delays are expected to continue into the afternoon. Check for updated schedules.

New Jersey Man Who Died In Dominican Republic Had Clean Bill Of Health Before Trip, Brother Says

AVENEL, N.J. (CBS/CNN) — The family of one of the American tourists who died in the Dominican Republic in recent months wants pathologists in the United States to examine his body for a cause of death, his brother told CNN on Wednesday. Joseph Allen, 55, of New Jersey, was found dead last week in his hotel room in the Dominican Republic, his family said, making him at least the ninth U.S. tourist to die at a Dominican Republic resort, or after becoming ill at one, over the past 13 months.

(credit: CBS3)

Preliminary autopsy results suggest Allen suffered from cardiac arrest, and there we no signs of violence, according to a report Dominican authorities gave to CNN.

But a doctor had just given Allen a clean bill of health during a physical, his brother, Jason Allen, told CNN’s “New Day,” adding that he is having a hard time understanding how Joseph could have died suddenly. The family is arranging for the body to return to the U.S.

US State Department Launches Investigation After 3 Americans Die At Same Dominican Republic Resort

“If we don’t feel like we’re getting the help we need from (Dominican authorities) and the answers we need from them, we’d like to get some kind of testing done on American soil by American doctors to help us to understand what could have been the cause of my brother’s death,” Jason Allen said Wednesday.

The spate of deaths has left many Americans wondering if they should cancel their upcoming trips to the Caribbean paradise.

Officials in the Dominican Republic have called the deaths isolated events as they work to reassure travelers their country is safe.

Of the nine Americans who have died at a Dominican Republic resort or after becoming ill at one since June 2018, it’s not clear how many owed to natural causes.

“In the last five years, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time the international media report such an alarming situation,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said earlier this month. “These are isolated incidents, and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”

What we know about Joseph Allen’s death

Joseph Allen was a repeat guest of the Hotel Terra Linda in the coastal Dominican city of Sosua, and he was there last week with friends, Jason Allen told HLN on Tuesday. The resort was Joseph Allen’s spot, “his Cheers,” the brother said, referring to the legendary sitcom pub.

Friends say Allen was complaining about being hot at the pool. He went to take a shower and lie down for the night, and was found dead the next day.

“He complained about being really hot,” Jason Allen told CNN. “His friend looked at him — he was sweating bullets. (Joseph) took a shower, cooled off, said he felt a lot better.

“He was going to hang out that night (but) decided, ‘You know what, I feel better, but I don’t feel well enough to go hang out, so I’m just going to relax in the room and read.’”

‘He Proceeded To Strangle Me Unconscious’: Delaware Woman Recounts Being Savagely Attacked At Dominican Republic Resort

Hotel staff found him dead in his room early Thursday after friends expressed concern that he hadn’t met up with them that morning, his sister, Jaimie Reed, told CNN.

Jason Allen has no reason to believe his brother was killed intentionally, he said. But he wonders if anything at the hotel — the air, the drinks — contributed to his death.

“What I do know is that I want no one and their family to endure what we’re enduring right now,” he told HLN.

At least 9 died on vacation

Besides Joseph Allen on June 13, the deaths of American citizens during or after stays at Dominican Republic resorts in the last 13 months include these cases:

• Leyla Cox, 53, of New York City, died June 10 in her room at the Excellence Resorts in Punta Cana.

The cause of death was heart attack, the hotel stated, citing a forensics report. CNN has not independently confirmed the contents of the report.

Cox’s son expressed doubts over the hotel’s claims about his mother’s cause of death, saying he did not believe she died from “natural causes.”

• Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, of Pennsylvania, and, days later, Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, a couple from Maryland, died in May at the Grand Bahia Principe in La Romana.

Schaup-Werner died in her hotel room after having a drink from the minibar, family spokesman Jay McDonald told CNN affiliate WFMZ. She suffered a heart attack, pulmonary edema and respiratory failure, a preliminary autopsy cited by the Attorney General’s Office of the Dominican Republic showed. The death remains under investigation, and toxicology results are pending.

At the same hotel, Holmes and Day were found dead in their hotel room on May 30. Both had internal bleeding, including in their pancreases, according to Dominican authorities. Holmes had an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver — both signs of significant pre-existing disease, the Dominican authorities said, and Day also had fluid in her brain.

Holmes and Day also had fluid in their lungs, Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez Sanchez’s office said in a statement.

Authorities won’t provide more details on the causes of the couple’s deaths until toxicology results are completed, they said.

‘I Noticed A Smell’: Philadelphia Couple Says They Became Violently Ill At Same Dominican Republic Resort Where 3 Americans Died

The FBI is assisting in further toxicology analysis of the three deaths that took place at the Bahia Principe in La Romana, and the results could take up to a month, the US Embassy in Santo Domingo said last week.

• John Corcoran, the brother of “Shark Tank” TV star Barbara Corcoran, died at the end of April in his hotel room in the Dominican Republic, according to a statement from his sister.

“He passed away from what is believed to be natural causes,” the statement said. “He loved and frequently visited the Dominican Republic.”

• Robert Wallace, 67, died on April 12 after becoming ill April 12 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, relatives told CNN affiliate KTXL. Wallace became sick after drinking scotch from a minibar, Tommy Tickenhoff, his son-in-law, told the station.

• David Harrison, 45, died in July 2018 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, according to his widow, Dawn McCoy. This is the same place where Wallace would fall ill nine months later.

Harrison said he wasn’t feeling well when he returned from a snorkeling excursion, McCoy said. The next morning, he was sweating and unable to get up before he died. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack and pulmonary edema by local authorities.

• Yvette Monique Sport, of Pennsylvania, died in June 2018 at the Bahia Principe hotel in Punta Cana, her sister told CNN.

After having drinks with her fiance, Sport took a shower and went to bed, Felecia Nieves said. She also had a drink from the minibar. Her fiance heard her make “a gurgling sound” in her sleep, Nieves said. The next morning, he discovered she was dead, Nieves said. The family is still awaiting toxicology reports.

Officials say destination is safe

Officials in the Dominican Republican or the US have not said the deaths are connected.

The State Department has a standing travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, urging travelers to have caution because of crime, but it has not issued a travel alert specific to the traveler deaths.

From 2012 to 2018, 128 Americans died in the Dominican Republic from something other than natural causes, according to US State Department statistics. That averages about 18 annually.

Pennsylvania Yoga Teacher, Mother Of Three Drowns After Being Swept Out To Sea In Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s top tourism destinations, with more than 6 million stopover tourists last year, including 2.2 million Americans, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Jamaica (1.6 million) and the Bahamas (1.3 million) were second and third, respectively, among Caribbean nations for the number of stopover American tourists in 2018, the CTO says.

In Jamaica, 135 American tourists died from something other than natural causes from 2012 to 2018, according to the US State Department. The number for the same time period in the Bahamas was 107.

The Dominican Republic is the “largest, fastest growing, tourism destination of the Insular Caribbean,” government spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena said in a video, adding that 14 million Americans have visited since 2012.

“In the last five years, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time the international media report such an alarming situation,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said this month. “These are isolated incidents and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”

(©Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

Over $1 Billion Of Cocaine Delivered To Ship By Several Boats In Middle Of Night After Leaving Peru, Documents Show

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Federal authorities are investigating how more than 33,000 pounds of cocaine ended up on a ship that docked at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia. Officials say the cocaine is worth over $1 billion.

PHOTOS: Massive Cocaine Bust At Philadelphia Port

Federal court records obtained by CBS3 reveal two men are charged in connection to the massive smuggling operation. They’re identified as Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasaga. Further information about the pair was not released.

The MSC Gayane had last been in the Bahamas and was destined for the Netherlands before federal authorities raided the boat discovering 16.5 tons of cocaine.

Before coming to Philadelphia, the Mediterranean Shipping Company ship was previously in the Bahamas, Panama, Peru and Colombia. The ship was on its way to the Netherlands.

Court documents outline the cocaine was apparently loaded onto the ship by the bale-full, delivered to MSC Gayane by six separate boats in the middle of the night after leaving Peru.

Additional boats approached the ship, it’s alleged, delivering more cocaine. The drugs were then concealed in containers.

According to the complaint, Durasevic admitted his role to authorities in bringing cocaine onto the vessel after being offered $50,000 by the chief officer.

“According to Durasevic, upon leaving Peru on this current voyage, he got a call from the chief officer to come down to the deck, at which time he saw nets on the port side stern by the ship’s crane. Durasevic and approximately four other individuals, some of whom were wearing ski masks, assisted in the pushing of the nets towards Hold Seven or Eight of the vessel. The nets contained blue or black bags with handles. Two or three crew members assisted in loading the cocaine into containers. The whole process took approximately 30 to 40 minutes,” court documents say.

Federal authorities continue to go through containers as they believe there could be more drugs on the ship.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain more information will be provided in the coming days as the investigation unfolds.

This was one of the largest drugs busts in U.S. history and the largest drug seizure ever for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

New Jersey Sues Dealer Over Sales Of Firearm Magazines

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday the state is suing a Nevada firearms retailer after it sold high-capacity magazines to an undercover investigator in violation of state law. New Frontier Armory, of North Las Vegas, sold a 100-round, a 30-round and a 15-round magazine to an investigator earlier this year, Grewal said at a news conference announcing the suit filed in Superior Court in Essex County.

As of last June, New Jersey law bans magazines of more than 10 rounds, down from 15.

Grewal criticized the magazines as contributing to mass shootings and said that’s why Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill in June reducing clip capacity.

“We’re showing that we have zero tolerance for these lethal weapons,” said Grewal, who was appointed by Murphy.

A message left with the company was not immediately returned.

Grewal is seeking maximum damages, or $10,000 per violation, as well as an order barring the company from advertising or selling so-called large-capacity magazines in New Jersey.

The sting was part of the state’s effort to check whether firearms retailers were complying with state law. A total of five companies were notified of the limit and complied, Grewal said.

New Frontier Armory had previously sold the state investigator three 30-round magazines, but that led the attorney general to send a cease-and-desist letter.

The company said it would comply after it got the letter last year, but four months later the state’s investigator successfully bought the high-round magazines, including the 100-round, drum-style magazine, according to Grewal.

As for whether any state residents who might have purchased magazines over 10 rounds, Grewal said he expects his office would discover that as the case proceeds and that the state would hold people “accountable.”

New Jersey has barred what it calls large-capacity magazines since 1990, but the limit was reduced last year as part of a package of gun control measures that Murphy signed. Those measures gained momentum in the Legislature after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

Allentown Mother Charged With Homicide After Newborn Baby Found Inside Paint Can, Lehigh County DA Says

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — An Allentown woman has been charged with homicide in the October 2017 death of her newborn son whose body was found inside a paint can. Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin says 30-year-old Ashley Caraballo has been charged with criminal homicide, concealing the death of a child, and abuse of a corpse.

Martin said Wednesday the baby’s body was found after she was taken to the hospital and had to undergo surgery for heavy vaginal bleeding.

During the surgery, doctors removed a portion of placental tissue and an uncut portion of an umbilical cord from Caraballo. She also had injuries to her cervix, leading doctors to believe the baby was “ripped out” since she was not fully dilated.

Pennsylvania State Police then launched an investigation into the whereabouts of the newborn, as Caraballo denied to authorities she was pregnant or had given birth.

During their investigation, police searched Carabello’s home on Oct. 25, 2017 and found the newborn’s body inside a five-gallon paint can in the basement. The baby’s body was wrapped in a sheet inside a backpack.

The investigation revealed the baby was born alive and at full term, and the cause of death was one of or a combination of asphyxia, blood loss, and/or hypothermia.

“This case presented complex medical issues which had to be thoroughly investigated in order to determine whether Ms. Caraballo could be charged with murder,” Martin said.

Carabello surrendered to authorities Wednesday morning and is being held at Lehigh County Jail without bail.

Authorities say Caraballo’s partner, Paul Wilson, was not involved in any of the alleged crimes and is not charged.

The couple has five other children.

Man Critically Injured In West Philadelphia Shooting

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man was critically injured following a shooting in the city’s West Philadelphia section on Wednesday morning. Shots were fired on the 5200 block of Jefferson Street, around 10 a.m.

Police say a 32-year-old man was shot in the chest and shoulder.

He was taken to Penn Presbyterian, where he is listed in critical condition.

At least one person has been arrested.

No further details have been released.

Mayor Kenney To Sign Roosevelt Boulevard Speed Camera Legislation Into Law

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Speed cameras are getting a step closer to coming to the Boulevard. Mayor Jim Kenney is expected to sign the “Roosevelt Boulevard Speed Camera” legislation into law Wednesday morning.

Kenney, along with other city leaders will meet at 10 a.m. to sign the legislation into law and announce details on the program’s fall rollout.

Last month, Philadelphia City Council voted to install the speed cameras.

The bill will authorize the use of speed cameras along the entire 12-mile stretch of the Boulevard.

The cameras would take pictures of the back of your vehicle and include your license plate, location, date and time. Tickets would then range between $100 to $150, depending on how far over the speed limit you’re driving.

Officials hope the high-tech cameras will improve safety by deterring speeders. They say the cameras will help advance the city’s “Vision Zero” goal of zero traffic deaths on Philadelphia streets by 2030.

Police say there were 96 fatal crashes in Philadelphia in 2018, and 21 percent of them happened on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Governor Wolf To Declare Juneteenth A Holiday In Pennsylvania

PENNSYLVANIA (CBS) – On Wednesday, the nation is commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. Hundreds will celebrate Juneteenth at festivals and events across the country, including in Philadelphia.

On June 19, 1865 slavery legally came to an end nationwide.

Philadelphia is holding its Juneteenth parade and festival on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Governor Tom Wolf is set to officially declare Juneteenth a holiday in Pennsylvania.



Man Sitting On Sidewalk Struck By Bullet In Fairhill, Police Say

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A man is recovering after he was shot in the leg in Philadelphia’s Fairhill section. It happened just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on the 2800 block of Waterloo Street.

The victim told police he was sitting in a chair on the sidewalk when someone opened fire, hitting him.

man shot in leg in fairhill

Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the gunfire.

“When police went to that location they found eight spent shell casings from a semi-automatic weapon. They also found a fold-up chair where the victim stated he was sitting when he was shot,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

Police have not made any arrests.