'You never think it's going to happen to you': Mother recalls trying to find daughter during Six Flags shooting

NOW: ’You never think it’s going to happen to you’: Mother recalls trying to find daughter during Six Flags shooting

NEXT:

GURNEE, Ill. (CBS 58) -- Hours after police say suspects fired shots at someone in the Six Flags Great America parking lot Sunday night, injuring three, the amusement park's gates were opened Monday morning for thrill-seekers looking to enjoy the day.

"It's pretty safe," said James Stossmeister, who made the trip from Milwaukee with his daughter, Savannah. "They've got metal detectors to go in. I might be nuts, but I think we'll be alright."

Police say the shooting Sunday night was targeted, with suspects in a white sedan pulling into the parking lot and shooting at someone before quickly speeding away.

"The shooting this evening was not a random act and appeared to be a targeted incident that occurred outside the park," the Gurnee Police Department said in a press release Sunday night. "This was not an active shooter situation inside the park."

Dawn Curran pulled into the parking lot Sunday night to pick up her daughter, Chloe, and a group of friends. She immediately saw the police lights and ambulances on site.

"I thought, 'Oh, somebody must have gotten hurt on a ride,'" Curran said, calling her daughter. "She told me, 'Mom, something bad is happening. Something bad, I don't know what is going on.'"

Curran says once she received word there was a shooting, she immediately called her daughter again and told her and her friends to stay together and hide.

"Get somewhere where you can hide and be safe," Curran said. "At that point, you don't even know if you're running in the right direction. Maybe you're running away from something bad, maybe you're running into something bad."

After a few scary minutes, Curran was able to locate her daughter's group trapped inside the park by a roughly eight-foot fence with what Curran described as spikes on top. Seeing it as their only safe way out of the park, the group began to help each other up and over the fence.

"It was a group effort. They were trapped with other kids and I believe one other adult," Curran said. "They were just trying to push each other up and over the fence and help each other. All of us were just trying to help kids get over the fence."

At the time, Curran says the group believed they were in harm's way. A mother of one of the other children in the group, Karen Sanders, said she wishes the park had used its speaker system to let guests know whether they should stay sheltered in place or leave.

Despite the confusion, Curran says it was great to see so many people come together to help one another in a time of need.

"To see kids helping kids that they didn't even know," Curran said. "There were a lot of scared people and I wouldn't blame anybody that just decided, 'Hey, I'm going to go get myself into safety right now.' Thankfully, there were a lot of people that said, 'We're not leaving until everybody's over this fence. We're not leaving until everybody's safe.'"

Six Flags released a statement Monday morning referencing the shooting and saying in part, "Park security personnel and officers from the on-site Gurnee Police Department Substation responded immediately" to the shooting.

When asked about safety measures in place at the park, Six Flags responded via email saying, "Each guest passes through a state-of-the-art security screening area prior to entering the park. The screening system detects potential threats and directs guests to a secondary screening station where further inspection takes place and bags are subject to X-ray."

Law enforcement is continuing to investigate the incident. No arrests have been made

Share this article:
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?