‘We do not want to be the story’: NBC10 reporter recounts chaos of July 4th Parkway shooting

Karen Hua and colleagues fled from the main stage, hid in nearby restaurant bathroom

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — NBC10’s Karen Hua was reporting from the Welcome America concert and fireworks show on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with friends when chaos and confusion erupted.

Two police officers were shot around 10 p.m. near the event, but the crowd didn’t know what was going on. The performances had just ended and fireworks began. They couldn’t distinguish the difference between that and gunfire.

“Loud music is playing, these bangs are going off, so we really don’t hear anything,” said Hua, who was near the front of the stage. “It was the event security, specifically for me, who told my colleagues and I to get into the tent and to get down. For others of my colleagues, police are the ones who told them to hide under the stage.”

People were laying face-down in the dirt to evade potential gunfire. Music was still playing.

“This woman came in and she just starts screaming, ‘Two cops shot! Two cops shot!’ My friend just started crying and called her mom and said, ‘I love you, Mom.’ And other people in the tent started doing the same.”

She noticed a child also in the tent, witnessing such a horrific event. Hua and her colleagues then decided to make a run for it.

“God, it feels like we sprinted for so long,” she said. “I’ve never run so fast in my entire life.”

They tried to run toward one of their apartments nearby but ended up in the closest business along the way. An Asian restaurant opened its doors to them and others.

“We went all the way to the back near the bathrooms, and we were huddled back in that little corner with a bunch of other women. We just heard people screaming into that business — just sobbing, crying, screaming.”

Hua said the scariest part was simply not knowing what was going on and if the active shooter situation was still active.

“If this was a mass shooting, we didn’t know at that moment that two cops were indeed shot. We just had no idea what was going on.”

Hua is usually on the other side of these incidents.

“We always say as journalists, we do not want to be the story. We do not want to be the witness. We are the people who report on these. We are the people who have the facts at the end of the day, and for so long last night not to have any facts, not to have a clue what was going on was just so out of nature and character.”

Another reporter, NBC10’s Leah Uko, was conducting an interview when people started running from the scene.

Authorities have not yet made any arrests in the Parkway shooting. It is an active investigation.

KYW Newsradio is a broadcast partner of NBC10.