Chicago (CBS) — Parents on Friday described a terrifying experience as 23 gunshots rang out near two high school baseball games and a track meet in Chicago’s Southwest Side the night before.
As CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey reported, no one was hurt shots fired Steps from the baseball field of St. Rita High School on SW Blvd. But at least six cars were hit by bullets, and the accident left any players and their families shaken.
Some parents ask that safety measures be taken.
It was 5:15 p.m. Thursday, and the freshman and college games were underway. A video from the hideout of a freshman baseball game between Saint Rita Freshman Mustangs and Academy of Marmion shows everyone’s belated reaction.
“Very disturbing – very disturbing because of the lack of respect for human life; the value of human life,” said the mother of a college player who was on the field.
The players fell to the ground as soon as they recognized what they were hearing.
Hickey spoke with several parents about their terrifying experience watching from the stands on Thursday night. Most did not want to be identified due to safety concerns.
“It took a minute, I think, for me to process what was going on,” said the player’s mother. “I’ve never been under heavy fire before. The boys in the square hit the ground.”
At the same time the shots were fired, Saint Rita’s grandfather Sabrina Johnson said her grandchildren were across the street.
“All of a sudden, they saw this car jumping and they started shooting towards McDonald’s, so they turned around and everything like that,” Johnson said. “So it was really terrifying.”
Saint Rita is located at 7740 S. Western Ave. A shooting erupted at McDonald’s, steps away at 7832 S. Western Ave.
Some parents said they have long-standing safety concerns with McDonald’s in particular. They’re defending a barrier of sorts between the McDonald’s parking lot and St. Rita’s baseball field just behind it.
It couldn’t have been the case: ‘Well, no one was hurt or killed,’ said the player’s mother. We just pick up where we left off.” “It has to be addressed.”
We’ve contacted McDonald’s about their order. McDonald’s franchisee Vincent Hill issued this statement:
“We are deeply disturbed by this incident in our parking lot and grateful that there were no injuries. We are happy to discuss ways we can work with Saint Rita on the safety around our restaurant and their school.”
Saint Rita declined our request for an interview on camera, but sent us a statement from interim President Deacon John Donahoe, saying:
“Yesterday’s incident in our district was a disturbing and a sad reminder that violence can happen anywhere, anytime. We thank our security staff and law enforcement for their prompt response. We remain fully committed to the safety of our students, faculty, staff, parents, and guests.”