CHICAGO (CBS) — Shots fired a few blocks from a West Side park forced an early end to a Little League baseball game on Wednesday, leaving the league president fuming that the kids “shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
Six Little League teams were at Altgeld Park, just south of the Eisenhower Expressway at Washtenaw Avenue, when five or six shots rang out not far away.
“Probably a few blocks west of where we were, there were some gunshots that went off. At that point, we just decided that it probably wasn’t worth the risk of having our kids continue to play baseball, and we just called it a night, just because we weren’t certain if it was going to be any retaliation, or anything like that. So we just wanted to make sure our kids were safe,” Near West Little League President Sean Pickett said.
Pickett said the teams had played only two innings of a six-inning game at that point.
“I get angry for my kids, because just I feel like this isn’t something that an 11-year-old or a 12-year-old should have to deal with; and it’s disappointing, because I want our kids on the field playing baseball,” he said.
Six teams were playing on the fields at Altgeld Park at the time – black kids, Latino kids, and white kids; along with a couple hundred people watching.
Pickett said, in his 13 years with the league, this was a first.
“We’ve definitely heard gunshots before, but it was nothing this close,” he said. “It’s angering to me. It’s just not right. I just got so frustrated, because a 10-year-old and 11-year-old, they shouldn’t have to deal with this.”