With Chicago police leaders saying it’s most likely gunfire that struck two women late Friday at a White Sox game originated inside the ballpark, a lawyer for one of those injured issued a statement disputing any notion his client brought a weapon through security and accidentally fired it.
The woman, treated for leg wounds, has found herself under scrutiny on social media as police continue to unravel what happened. Among the possibilities being considered by investigators is whether the woman who was more seriously injured was able to bring a weapon through security, sources have said.
An attorney for the woman, 42, a White Sox season ticket holder, said Tuesday that since the shooting they have “reviewed photographic evidence and x-rays of our client’s injuries with firearms and medical experts who confirm the gunshot wound our client sustained was not self-inflicted and was not the result of her accidentally discharging a firearm.”
The woman, who according to a police report on the incident is the holder of a FOID card, has not been charged with any crime. Police Tuesday declined to address any specific threads of their investigation, calling it “active and ongoing.”
“She denies bringing a firearm into the stadium and further denies having anything to do with the discharge of a firearm at the stadium,” attorney John Malm said in a statement. “We will continue investigating this matter further to pursue justice on behalf of our client who sustained serious personal injuries as a result of this shooting.”
The shooting occurred during the 4th inning of Friday’s game that the White Sox ultimately lost to the Oakland A’s 12-4. While the game continued — despite a request to stop from the Chicago Police Department — a planned postgame concert featuring Vanilla Ice was canceled.
Video footage from inside the stadium shows other game attendees signaling for aid after the women realized they were shot. Investigators are using security video from inside the ballpark in an attempt to reconstruct what happened, sources have told the Tribune.
Reached by phone Tuesday, the 42-year-old woman declined to speak with a Tribune reporter on the advice of the attorney. Police and court records show she lives in the western suburbs while the second woman, who suffered a graze wound, is a 26-year-old who lives in the city and works for Chicago Public Schools.
“We can confirm that a Chicago Public Schools teacher was injured Friday night while at the White Sox game,” the school district said in a statement Tuesday. “On behalf of the entire CPS community, we wish our staff member a speedy recovery.”
Few details of the shooting were released over the weekend, but on Monday interim CPD superintendent Fred Waller said investigators had nearly ruled out the possibility of the shots coming from outside Guaranteed Rate Field.
“(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.”
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.
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.
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