CHICAGO (CBS) – Parents on Friday described a terrifying experience when 23 shots went off near two high school baseball games and a track match on Chicago’s Southwest Side the night before.
As reported by CBS 2 investigator Megan Hickey, no one was hurt when the shots were fired Walking distance from the Liceo St. Rita da Cascia baseball field on South Western Avenue. But at least six cars were hit by bullets and the crash left all the players and their families distraught.
Some parents ask for safety measures.
It was 5:15 pm on Thursday and the freshmen and university games were in progress. The bench video of the freshman baseball game between the St. Rita Freshman Mustangs and Marmion Academy shows everyone’s lagging reaction.
“Very disturbing – very disturbing about the disrespect for human life; the value of human life,” said the mom of a varsity player who was on the pitch.
The players fell to the ground as soon as they recognized what they were hearing.
Hickey spoke to several parents about their terrifying experience watching from the stands Thursday night. Most didn’t want to be identified due to security concerns.
“It took me a minute, I think, to process what was going on too,” said the player’s mother. “I have never experienced violent gunshots. The boys on the field hit the ground.”
At the same time the shots were fired, Santa Rita’s grandmother Sabrina Johnson says her grandchildren were across the street.
“Suddenly, they saw this car stop and they started shooting at McDonald’s, so they had to get down and stuff,” Johnson said. “So it was really terrifying.”
St. Rita is located at 7740 S. Western Ave. Shots rang out at the McDonald’s drive-thru just steps away at 7832 S. Western Ave.
Some parents have said they have long-standing safety concerns with that particular McDonald’s. They are supporting a barrier of some kind between the McDonald’s parking lot and the St. Rita baseball field right behind it.
“It can’t be: ‘OK, well, no one was hurt or killed. Let’s just carry on and pick up where we left off,’” the player’s mother said. “It has to be addressed.”
We contacted McDonald’s with their inquiry. Vincent Hale, owner of a McDonald’s franchise, released this statement:
“We are deeply shocked by this incident that took place in our parking lot and are grateful that we have not been injured. We are happy to discuss ways we can partner with St. Rita’s on the safety surrounding our restaurant and their school.” .
Santa Rita declined our request for a camera interview, but sent us a statement from Acting President Deacon John Donahue, saying:
“Yesterday’s incident in our neighborhood was disturbing and a sad reminder that violence can occur anywhere, anytime. We thank our security personnel and law enforcement for their swift response. We remain fully engaged. for the safety of our students, faculty, staff, parents, and guests. “