Three people were stabbed, and a false report of gunfire led to a stampede that left more than a dozen people injured

By Jeff Truesdell
July 05, 2019 02:55 PM

The July Fourth fireworks off Chicago’s Navy Pier drew a crowd that retreated into chaos as police say three people were stabbed and a false report of gunfire led to a stampede that left 14 people injured.

Police say that after some young males flashed gang signs outside of the pier’s secured event area shortly after 10 p.m., a fight erupted during which a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the arm and rib, and a 15-year-old was stabbed in the armpit.

Both were hospitalized and listed Friday in stable condition, reports NBCChicago.

A 30-year-old man stabbed in the face as a bystander was not part of the fight, but had no recall of how he’d been injured or by whom, police said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He also was hospitalized and in stable condition, reports WGN.

The two youths stabbed were being uncooperative in the investigation, but authorities are seeking two male suspects.

Another person, a 16-year-old boy, initially was believed to be shot but actually suffered a puncture wound from an overturned table while running, Chicago police Sgt. Rocco Alioto told reporters at a press briefing.

The unrelated “stampede” of the exiting crowd resulted from what police believe were the sound of firecrackers, prompting the cry of “gun” or “shots fired,” said Alioto.

None of the 14 people who were injured in the rush received life-threatening injuries, he said.

Several of those who fled sought refuge in Harry Carey’s Tavern restaurant, where 22-year-old server Rachel Schar said she was knocked down as people rushed in after she overheard shouts outside about a gunman and stabbings.

“It was pure chaos,” she told the Tribune. “I literally thought I was going to die.”

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Schar’s co-worker, Ashley Calvillo, and another restaurant employee initially hid inside a closet before a manager gathered them and other workers in the kitchen, where guests also were trying to hide in the restaurant’s freezer and storage area, she said.

She said the crush resulted in a jumble of toppled furniture and spilled silverware that left the restaurant “wrecked.”

“I hate to say this, but honestly ever since mass shootings have been a common thing, I feel like I’m always looking around,” Schar told the Tribune. “Constantly, everywhere I go I feel like I need to know what my plan is if something did happen.”