Off-duty officer struck by stray bullets during 4th of July cookout

Another man was also shot and died of his wounds.

Tim Jimenez
July 05, 2018 - 6:50 am
Officer Fred Attakora

Philadelphia Police Department

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Authorities are investigating a shooting at a Fourth of July cookout in Southwest Philadelphia that left an off-duty cop wounded and another man dead. 

During a block party at 71st Street and Buist Avenue around 10 p.m., police said someone started shooting. Gunshots rang out, but people thought they were fireworks.

Police reported the group of people were celebrating, then all of a sudden they saw two guys down.

Two people were hit by stray bullets, including 24-year-old Michael Boateng, who was shot in the chest, and 38-year-old Philadelphia Police Officer Fred Attakora, who was shot twice while off duty.

Attakora had just finished patrolling Independence Day celebrations in the city and went to the party in Southwest Philly.

Medics rushed both victims to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where Boateng later died.

Attakora, who works at the 12th District and has three-plus years of service on the force, survived the shooting and is in critical but stable condition. He suffered wounds to his arm and abdomen. 

A motive still is not clear, and there’s no solid description of the shooter.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the victims weren't targeted, and the shots came from nearby Muhlfeld Street.

"These two victims weren't even standing side-by-side," he said. "They would have been standing across the street but [in> the same line of fire."

"We believe the two people that were hit were hit by errant gunfire downrange. They weren't the intended targets," added Homicide Capt. John Ryan. "A lot of these guys were in the same church together that were at the barbecue."

Police said they need to hear from people on Muhlfeld Street and anyone else with information so they can identify the shooter.

Meantime, the Philadelphia FOP announced a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

The investigation is active and ongoing.