The daytime shooting took place near a SEPTA train station. Seven of the victims, one aged 17, are said to be in stable condition. But a 71-year-old man is in critical condition after being shot multiple times in both legs and in the stomach, authorities said.
Local reports state a gunman opened fire near the SEPTA station in the Olney area of the city at around 2.50pm EST (7:50pm GMT) on Wednesday.
Six of the victims were taken to the city’s Albert Einstein Medical Center while a seventh victim was transported by police to Temple University Hospital.
The eight victim later took themselves into Albert Einstein Medical Center after suffering a bullet graze to the stomach.
Two weapons were recovered by Philadelphia police officers, in addition to multiple bullet casings.
One person is in custody, with officers investigating for witnesses and additional suspects.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has described the shooting as “very brazen”.
She added; “We were able to get someone in custody as quickly as we did because we had officers out working on another assignment.
“It’s not for our lack of presence out here, but I think it’s very telling that folks willing to engage in these shootings are becoming more and more emboldened whether we’re here or not.”
“There could be multiple shooters, but we still don’t know. There were multiple casings found, 18 casings, and we’re still trying to determine if they all came from the same firearm.”
Witnesses spoke to local station 6ABC about the incident, and described it as chaotic and violent.
One man said to the news outlet: “Boom,boom,boom, everybody trying to scatter to get away.”
Will Barton, local, added: “I’m ducking… I thought my life was on the line.”
Philadelphia police added as of Monday 257 people had been shot in the city so far in 2021, marking a 56 percent increase compared to 2020.