U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Philadelphia news crew shot at with pellets during live broadcast

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 17, 2023


Was the journalist targeted?
May 17, 2023

A WTXF-TV FOX29 news crew was shot at with a pellet gun from a moving vehicle while reporting outside of City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 17, 2023.

According to FOX29, a news crew was reporting near the intersection of 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard shortly after 10 p.m. In footage posted to Twitter by an unaffiliated account, reporter Shawnette Wilson can be seen giving a live report when she is suddenly struck in the chest with multiple projectiles.

“OK, so, somebody just hit me with pellets, obviously,” Wilson says in the clip. She told the anchors that she wasn’t injured.

Neither Wilson nor FOX29 responded to requests for comment; it was not immediately clear whether the photojournalist with her that night was also struck. In a version of the report published to FOX29, the section interrupted by the pellet gun assault is re-recorded.

FOX29 reported that police responded to the scene, and identified the projectiles as gel-like pellets. Police told the news outlet that they have received other reports of individuals being shot with pellets in the area. The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Fellow FOX29 reporter Ellen Kolodziej tweeted that the incident was terrifying for both journalists, citing a fatal attack on a Spectrum News 13 news crew in Florida in February.

“They had no idea what was flying at them or what could come next…especially after a TV reporter was shot and killed in Florida a few months ago,” Kolodziej wrote. “Nothing to take lightly people.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].