Man shot trying to stop a stickup in Rittenhouse Square

Just after 9:30 p.m., police responded to multiple calls about a shooting inside Rittenhouse Square, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

A 39-year-old man was shot in Rittenhouse Square when he tried to stop a robbery Tuesday night, police said.

Just after 9:30, police responded to multiple calls about a shooting in the iconic Center City park.

Chief Inspector Scott Small said officers found the victim on a walkway with four or five gunshot wounds to his chest, his torso, and a shoulder.

Police rushed him to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was reported in critical but stable condition, Small said. He was expected to survive.

Witness told police that two armed men, including one known to frequent the park, attempted to rob a group of three to five people.

"They announce a robbery. They say, 'Give it up,' " Small said.

That's when the man, who was riding a bicycle, intervened. "He actually tries to stop the robbery," Small said.

One of the perpetrators then opened fire with a revolver, and both ran off.

The report of gunfire in one of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods sent people scrambling for safety.

Aaron Zommick, 29, was sitting on a bench texting when he heard four or five gunshots.

Then people started to run out of the park. He noticed young men laughing as they ran away.

"This wasn't funny," Zommick said.

Before the gunfire, it was a normal night, with people hanging out and music playing.

As the investigation unfolded in the park, people outside carried on with their routines, walking their dogs, or dining at restaurants across the street.

Some, however, were in hushed phone conversations, seeking or sharing details about the violence.

One of the suspects was described as about 5-feet-11, wearing a gray shirt with "Nike" in green letters. The second was a pudgy man, 5-feet-8, wearing all-dark clothing.

Detectives were checking multiple cameras inside the park as well as numerous business surveillance cameras around the perimeter of the park, Small said.

Police were trying to locate the original robbery victims, who ran away when the shooting started.

bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983 @RobertMoran215