A shooting incident that wounded two people at a Chicago White Sox game over the weekend most likely involved a gun going off inside Guaranteed Rate Field, the interim Chicago police superintendent said Monday.
Two women suffered gunshot wounds as they sat in the left field bleachers of Guaranteed Rate Field during the Friday night game between the White Sox and Oakland A’s. Officials have so far said little about where the bullets came from, or if someone brought a gun into the stadium, but interim Superintendent Fred Waller on Monday said investigators have nearly ruled out the possibility that the shots came from outside the ballpark.
“We’re dispelling a lot of things,” Waller said during a brief press availability after a CPD graduation and promotion ceremony at Navy Pier. “(A shot) coming from outside is something we’ve almost completely dispelled. We’re still looking at every avenue. It’s still under investigation. Something from inside, it could’ve happened that way. We’re looking at every avenue, exploring every lead and everything that we can get.”
Waller added that CPD did initially request that the game be halted after the shooting was discovered.
“At one point in time it was requested as a precaution, but we had no active shooter information, no flare-up, as I said, from a weapon, so we didn’t have all of the information,” Waller said. “We made that request initially because we did not know what was going on. We had reports of people being shot at Sox Park, but that wasn’t confirmed and so we allowed the game to continue (and) not to create a panic.”
Mayor Brandon Johnson said he was made aware of the shooting shortly after it occurred Friday, but he declined to say whether he was part of the decision to allow the game to continue or whether in hindsight that was the right choice.
“Obviously, this is an ongoing investigation and the Chicago Police Department has done a remarkable job of gathering all the evidence and as more information becomes available, that information will be reported,” Johnson said.
Both women, 26 and 42, were expected to recover from the incident at the Armour Square ballpark that occurred during the fourth inning. Officials on Saturday described a delay in the police response, because the incident first appeared to be a fan who needed first aid for an undetermined wound.
The game was not interrupted despite the incident taking place yards from the outfield and the White Sox bullpen. Stadium grounds crew members had already begun installing crowd control barriers on the field, meant to keep fans in place during the postgame concert, when the announcement came through on the scoreboard that the concert was canceled.
Team officials have not specifically commented on the decision to continue play even after police officials requested the game be suspended for safety reasons.
Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert said over the weekend that in later innings, CPD and White Sox security staff worked together and decided to allow the game to go on uninterrupted.
White Sox representatives declined to comment on Waller’s statement Monday about the possible origin of the shot or shots.
Though Guaranteed Rate Field is owned by the state, security at the stadium is handled by At Your Service LLC, a private firm that provides security for White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks home games. Records from the Illinois secretary of state’s office show the firm was founded in 1994, and the registered agent is listed as William Waters, vice president of finance for the White Sox.
Source: Berkshire mont