A man got out of a car with a baseball bat early Saturday morning as people gathered for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
I just happened to be in the area for Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration when my friend sent me a screenshot about a shooting not far from where we were. It came from an app called Citizen, which you can download on your phone and get notifications about the crimes happening around you in real-time. The details of what happened barely made the media, and I probably wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t received the text.
Two People Shot After Dispute Involving Bat @CitizenApp
170 N Dearborn St Mar 11 8:57:27 AM CST
Stray bullets had hit two bystanders just south of the Chicago River while people gathered for the city’s St. Patrick’s Day events. A man had gotten out of a car with a baseball bat as people started lining the streets for the annual parade and to see the river get dyed green.
According to an alert the app sent out, a fight broke out between people in two cars. A person in one car got out and hit the second car with a baseball bat. A person in the vehicle being attacked opened fire and missed the attacker, but hit two bystanders. Both vehicles fled the scene, but at least one shot hit the attacker’s car because the police later found a Nisan Altima with a bullet hole close to where it happened.
Chicago police said a 58-year-old man was grazed in the arm and taken to the hospital, while a 35-year-old man arrived at the same hospital with a leg wound. Both men were in good shape, and neither of them was involved in the altercation. The two guys that got hit were just out trying to have a good time, just like I was. Oddly enough, I was grabbing some pictures while I was down there for an article about defending yourself in a crowd. I’m not sure what the odds of that coincidence are, but it has to be astronomical.
We may never know if this was an actual case of self-defense, but it underscores one of the primary rules of firearm safety. Always be aware of your target and what is behind it. To expand on that, it also includes areas around it. The last thing you want to do is kill an innocent bystander in the crossfire.