It started when a fight broke out just before 2 a.m. Wednesday outside of The Barn, a bar located on Catharine Street near the intersection of 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue.
According to police, a group of men was beating up on a male victim.
At that time, an 18th district off-duty police officer happened to be driving his personal vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, past the intersection with a woman in the passenger seat.
Police said he parked the Jeep outside the bar and jumped in the fray to help protect the man who was being assaulted.
"It took a lot of guts, got out of his car, approached this crowd that was actually punching and stomping a male outside of the bar, and he intervened and was able to stop the fight," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Surveillance video released Friday shows one of the men drew a handgun and started firing at the off-duty officer. The off-duty officer ran back into his Jeep and drove away.
At least six shots were fired, two hitting the passenger side door where the woman was sitting.
"He was able to save this individual from getting assaulted, but, in return, somebody fired multiple shots at the off-duty officer. He's very, very lucky that he wasn't struck by gunfire," Small said.
The off-duty officer never identified himself as an officer. Police said he did have a gun on him, but never drew it.
The male victim suffered minor injuries. No one was hit by gunfire and no one was taken to the hospital.
View the surveillance video: