CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox talked to Major League Baseball on Monday about postponing their game against the Minnesota Twins after a gunman opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago, killing at least six people and wounding at least 30 others.
After speaking with MLB and contact with local authorities, the game was slated to begin on time. But there were storms in the area that could affect play.
The postgame fireworks show was canceled, and the team observed a moment of silence before the first pitch.
“Our hearts are with the Highland Park community,” the White Sox said in a statement. “The entire Chicago White Sox organization expresses our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the innocent victims of today’s horrific shooting and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Authorities said a gunman opened fire around 10:15 a.m. local time, when the parade was about three-quarters through, sending hundreds of marchers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles fleeing in terror. Police said Monday evening that the man identified as a person of interest, Robert E. Crimo III, 22, had been taken into custody.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said the gunman apparently used a “high-powered rifle” to fire from a spot atop a commercial building where he was “very difficult to see.” He said the rifle was recovered at the scene.
“I think the access to the weaponry that is being used … something needs to change,” White Sox closer Liam Hendriks said. “Something needs to be done, something needs to happen. Because it’s way too many people losing their lives.
“It’s not only about the people that are losing their lives, it’s the families of them. It’s the tragedy that they go through as an entire community, when people are concerned about leaving the house, concerned about doing the day-to-day things of going to work or any number of these things. We really need to reflect on what’s going on. I don’t think enough is being done.”
The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds in recent months.
“Unfortunately, it’s almost daily,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said of the shootings. “Way too frequently.
“Even when there’s an explanation, there’s no explanation. It doesn’t make sense.”
Covelli said “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one was taken to a hospital and died there.
Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness for NorthShore University Health Center, said the Highland Park hospital received 26 patients after the attack and all but one had gunshot wounds. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five patients were children.
He said 19 of them were treated and discharged. Others were transferred to other hospitals, while two patients, in stable condition, remained at the Highland Park hospital.
Highland Park is a close-knit community of about 30,000 people located on the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago. NBA legend Michael Jordan lived in the city for years when he played for the Chicago Bulls.
In a statement, the Bulls called Monday’s shooting “horrifying and senseless” and noted that many members of the organization have called Highland Park home over the years.
“Our connection with the community is personal, and it holds a particularly special place in our hearts,” the team said. “We are grieving with the community and everyone affected, and we support them as we all mourn this tragedy.
“Gun violence inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses, and communities. This situation is one that we’ve been in too many times, saying what feels like the same words and expressing the same sentiments. The Chicago Bulls are committed to change and using the resources in our power to make a difference and help solve this epidemic of gun violence.”
The NFL’s Chicago Bears said they “mourn the loss of innocent lives in today’s senseless and disgraceful mass shooting” and acknowledged “the selfless acts from first responders and many citizens to help all in time of dire need.”
Several nearby cities canceled events, including parades and fireworks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.