Fears of gunshot startle crowd in Philly Fourth celebration [photos]

    A man throwing a firecracker to the ground caused a scare as the crowd dispersed from the Fourth of July fireworks display in downtown Philadelphia, a city official said.

    Thousands of people were leaving the fireworks display along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway around 11:30 p.m. Thursday when someone set off a firecracker, Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said. The noise sent some people in the crowd running and a few fell to the ground, he said.

    “There was a woman … right in front of me who fell. She was knocked into one of the younger kids running; her cellphone went flying,” said Joe Sangine, 42, of West Chester, who had brought his three children to the show.

    There were no reports of serious injuries or major incidents at the July 4 celebration, which featured a concert by John Mayer, The Roots and other performers. However, some people took to Twitter and other social media to raise concerns that there had been a shooting, although Gillison said that no gun was involved.

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    No suspect has been identified in the firecracker scare, which occurred near Logan Circle.

    At the time, authorities were unsure if the noise stemmed from a motorcycle that had backfired or the fireworks show reverberating off downtown buildings.

    Last year, two teens were shot in the leg a few blocks from the parkway during the Fourth of July fireworks.

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