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Police officers detain a suspect outside Koko Bongo on 38th and Chestnut streets after a civilian was shot and an officer wounded early Sunday morning. Credit: Alex Small

Costumed students returning home from a string of Halloween parties early Sunday morning were greeted by the sound of a flurry of gunshots, the result of a fight at 38th and Chestnut streets that left one man dead and two others injured.

Lamar Bembry, a 21-year-old resident of the 5400 block of Race Street, was shot and killed by police during a gunfight outside of Koko Bongo nightclub, located just off the edge of campus, Philadelphia Police Homicide Sgt. Charles Coan said.

Philadelphia Police officer Sandra Van Hinkel and another bystander were struck by bullets during the melee, in which dozens of shots were fired.

Van Hinkel was hit in the right leg by a bullet. She was treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and released shortly thereafter.

The other victim, a 34-year-old man who was sitting in his car in traffic on 38th Street, was struck by stray bullets in the face and shoulder. Police declined to release his name because he is a potential witness.

He is in stable condition at HUP.

Bembrey was shot by police once in the chest after brandishing a gun and firing it into the crowd while leaving the club. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident took place as police were trying to disperse the crowd of 200 to 300 people leaving the club at about 2:00 a.m. Coan said there were no reports of an argument or fight inside the club before the shooting began.

"There was really no altercation," he said. "Basically, the police were moving the crowd, trying to get the traffic flowing, when one male produced a gun and started firing in the direction of the police."

Police were already patrolling outside of the nightclub because there had been previous incidents at that location. They returned fire when the shooting began.

Several clubgoers were visibly shaken following the shooting, and some argued with police officers about the police's role in the incident.

Members of Philadelphia Police Homicide Division, which is investigating the case, would not say if there would be a seperate investigation into police conduct and referred all questions to Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, who could not be reached for comment.

Coan said police believe there were other shooters, though there are conflicting reports of how many.

Multiple people were seen being detained by police at the scene. Coan said that no charges have been filed, and that there are no suspects besides Bembry, who had a prior record. Police would not comment on why people were detained or when they were released.

The incident occurred a block north of campus, and many students living in Hamilton Court and Chestnut Hall, both located at 39th and Chestnut streets, said they could clearly hear the shots.

"I thought it was fireworks at first," said College and Wharton sophomore Alok Pandey, who lives in Hamilton Court. "Then when I heard all the yelling and sirens I realized what had happened."

The shooting was one of several incidents involving gunfire that have occurred on the north side of campus over the last few years.

A gunshot was reported at 40th and Market streets on Aug. 15, and an 18-year-old unaffiliated with the University was shot in the face on the 4500 block of Sansom street the day before.

A man was also killed on the 3900 block of Market Street this past December, and Engineering senior Mari Oishi was struck by a stray bullet during an attempted robbery at 39th and Chestnut streets in January 2006.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said the incident was indicative of a larger problem Philadelphia has with violence at its nightclubs.

"It is just another example of how easy it is for people to have guns and how quickly an argument in a nightclub can escalate," she said.

- Staff Writer Jerome Chen contributed reporting to this article.

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