Philadelphia July 4th shooting: Police chaplain funeral card found with bullet lodged in officer's hat

A law enforcement officer is "very lucky" to be alive after a bullet grazed his head during Fourth of July celebrations in Philadelphia Monday night.

The 36-year-old highway patrol officer is one of two officers who was shot as fireworks filled the sky and crowds fled on the 2500 block of Spring Garden around 10 p.m.

A single bullet was found lodged inside the lining of his hat, according to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 boss John McNesby.

"It was lucky because it hit his hat; it's unbelievable," McNesby said as she shared a photo of the officer's hat.


A bullet lodged in the hat of a Philadelphia police officer who suffered a non-fatal graze wound to the head during a firework display on July 4th. Credit: John McNesby

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw described the outcome as "miraculous" at a press conference held after the shooting.

"It is miraculous the fact that the round stopped in his hat," Outlaw said. "I think initially it went up the inside and hit his forehead and then the round stopped in his hat."

Along with the bullet, a bloodstained funeral mass card for beloved Philadelphia Police Chaplain Steven Wetzel was seen attached to the inside of the officer's hat. Wetzel was laid to rest in May after years of serving Philadelphia communities and their officers.

Another officer, a 44-year-old Montgomery County bomb squad member also suffered a gunshot wound after a law enforcement source says shots were fired behind the Ferris wheel erected on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

Both officers were reportedly treated and released from the hospital overnight.

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No arrests have been reported and police have not said what sparked the gunfire. Outlaw said investigators are working on tips and urged the public for any information.