Chicago police officers on Friday night made their presence known at an Archer Heights park where days earlier seven members of one family were held at gunpoint while getting ready for soccer practice.
Roll call for officers beginning their shift took place as neighbors enjoyed a beautiful evening at Archer Park.
Neighbors expressed anger upon learning of Tuesday's violent incident in which two men confronted the seven family members who range in age from 14 to 43 years old.
The family was waiting for a rain shower to pass and for other family members to show up when they said two masked men came out of nowhere with guns. The masked men ordered them to drop to the ground or said they’d shoot.
"“I thought they were kidding," said Carlos Rico, the father of one of the victims. "They were nonchalant actually. I thought they were kidding, and it took a few seconds to register that they were not kidding.”
Thomas Baliga, president of the Archer Heights Civic Association, urges people to get involved and work with police to help solve crimes.
“It’s absolutely outrageous,” he said. “It’s something that’s unprecedented in this neighborhood. We’ve never had anything like that happen here, and we’re bound and determined to see that nothing happens in the future.”
Police have not released a description of the two masked gunmen. The victims told NBC 5 the gunmen patted them down while they were on the ground and stole cash and credit cards. The suspects even tried using the cards at a gas station and ATM, the victims said.
“They need to be caught before they actually hurt somebody worse than they already did,” Rico said. “They’re on the loose with two guns, something worse can happen than just the robbery.”