Turns out a shooting reported near the Chase Center on Wilmington’s riverfront two weeks ago never happened where the victim said it did.
After flagging down a patrol officer near W. 4th and N. Van Buren Streets, Nov. 30, a 33-year-old Philadelphia man claimed he was shot near the event venue and was looking for a hospital. He was treated and released for minor gunshot wounds at Wilmington Hospital.
Unable to locate where the shooting originated, Wilmington Police say officers reviewed surveillance video and conducted witness interviews, but nothing confirmed the man’s account. Furthermore, police say none of the nine officers hired by the event hosted at the Chase Center heard or reported gunfire at the alleged time of the incident indicating the shooting did not occur where the victim says he was shot.
“Despite the victim’s claim, officers did not find evidence of a shooting and no witnesses have come forward to corroborate his story,” said Corporal Mark Ivey.
Ivey says a search of the victim’s vehicle, however, turned up $116,000 in cash, which was seized. Detectives are looking into why the man was carrying around that kind of cash. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the man could be charged for falsely reporting the shooting.
Riverfront Development Corporation officials, meantime, chimed in shortly after Wilmington Police released its findings.
“We’ve made the safety of the many additional visitors to the area our top priority,” RDC Executive Director Michael Purzycki said. “Events in the area have routinely included increased police presence, and we’ve significantly increased the lighting in the area, covered it with the watchful eyes of the latest security cameras and genuinely made the Riverfront a fun, diverse and extremely safe destination for shopping and recreation.”
The riverfront is home to several restaurants and retailers and the soon-to-be Westin Hotel. With so much at stake, Purzycki stressed public safety has always been a top priority since the earliest plans to revive the riverfront were drafted decades ago.