CHICAGO (CBS) — A first look inside a music school where a 15-year-old was shot during a police gun battle.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has the story you’ll only see on CBS 2.
The crime scene has been cleared. The police are gone, but the memories of a violent night remain.
“When it happens to you, you realize how far reaching the damage is.”
Scott Barbeau is the founder of UpBeat Music and Arts, where a police chase following a bank robbery ended with a gunman entering his school. It was followed by officers and gunfire that injured a 15-year-old intern Rylan Wilder.
“It’s really overwhelming and emotional, but we are healing,” Barbeau said.
The five teachers present that night told him what happened. How the gunman slipped in after a parent was buzzed through a secure door. Shots were first fired in a reception room where a teacher shielded a young student.
“The teacher in the front took a student and pushed her against the wall, sat on her and took a table and put it in front of her,” Barbeau said.
Rylan Wilder was in the room next door, polishing pianos, when the violence moved in his direction. An instructor and a student sheltered in a rehearsal space.
“Another teacher took her student into a practice room immediately, closed the door and covered her up,” Barbeau said.
In a side room, three other teachers would use their bodies to cover four other students before escaping out a door they quickly unlocked.
“I am very proud. I am emotional, I’m proud and I am thankful,” Barbeau said.
He said Rylan WIlder is an especially talented young musician and has been a fixture at the school for two years. Gunfire severely damaged his left arm and hand.
“That was our first, number one focus. Understanding what his health was and how could we help,” Barbeau said.
There is some concern Rylan may be unable to regain full use of his hand, but as they all heal, their hopes for Rylan remain strong.
“I know his determination. I know his work ethic. He will play music again,” Barbeau said.
A Des Plaines officer fired his gun inside the school, killing the robber and injuring Rylan. He made it out of intensive care late last week. GoFundMe accounts have been set up for both Rylan and the school as they all continue to heal.