Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet Pens Eyewitness Account
Chicago Sun-Times Washington bureau chief and columnist Lynn Sweet wrote a harrowing eyewitness account from the shooting at the Fourth of July parade on Monday in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
In a column published on Tuesday, Sweet wrote about her experience attending the parade not in her job but as a civilian — as six people were killed and 24 others were injured in the attack allegedly carried out by Robert Crimo, 22, who was arrested on Monday after an hours-long manhunt.
“I just wanted to go to this parade and enjoy the day. Hang out with friends. Maybe after the parade, go to one of the stunning Lake Michigan beaches that hug this North Shore suburb,” she wrote. “Or maybe have a swim at the Highland Park pool, next to the fire station. That fire station transformed into an emergency operations center after the unimaginable — is this a cliché? — happened.”
Sweet described the parade as “delightfully normal” until “it wasn’t.”
“I was watching and listening to the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band perform on top of a flatbed truck when I saw people running away from Central Avenue,” she wrote. “‘A shooter,’ someone said. I saw terrified people run into an underground garage, looking for safety from the bullets.”
— Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet) July 4, 2022
Sweet wrote about the carnage she witnessed.
I saw, frozen in time, what people left when they fled. So many baby carriages. Folding chairs. Backpacks. Water bottles. Towels. Blankets. Police were asking people to leave the active shooting scene.
Then, near a bench in the square, I came upon a pool of blood, ruby red blood. There was so much blood, that the blood puddle was lumpy because so much already coagulated. The shape of the blood — was this a twisted Rorschach test? — looked like a handgun to me.
I saw my first body of the day. A blanket covered the top of the man. His shorts were soaked with blood. His legs were bloody and blood was still flowing out of him. Two more bodies were on the steps leading into Port Clinton. Thankfully, someone threw blankets over their torsos.
The columnist said she went “into this gruesome detail because this is what gun violence from a rapid-fire weapon with an apparent high capacity magazine looks like.”
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