What began as a trip to a nearby fast food restaurant turned into a terrifying night for a Chicago mother, who heard shots ring out late Thursday and then discovered her teenage son was among the nine people who had been shot in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood.
Kimberly Saunders' son, 17-year-old Parnelius Saunders, was shot nine times when gunfire erupted during an argument between two groups near a McDonald's in the 800 block of North State Street.
Kimberly, who lives nearby along with her son, was heading to a gyros restaurant at around 10:30 p.m., when she noticed police officers near the intersection of North State Street and West Chicago Avenue. Officers were present as they had responded to the large gathering.
While approaching the intersection, the mother said she heard a round of gunfire. Then, she found Parnelius, who had been shot.
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"I kept walking, and I walked up, and my baby was there shot..." Kimberly said.
As the mother desperately took action, a Chicago police officer came to Parnelius' aid, showing Kimberly how to cut her son's shirt open and do whatever possible to help.
"Officer I would love to see you cause I know I was telling you I was scared, and you helped me," she said, offering a message to the officer Friday afternoon.
Kimberly told reporters multiple people attempted to rob her son, and the same individuals robbed the friend he was with at the time. Chicago police haven't said whether any robberies occurred prior to the shooting.
Parnelius was being treated at Stroger Hospital Friday afternoon, his mother stated, as she awaited an update on his condition.
After the shooting, the alleged gunman fled the scene and officers nearby chased him onto a CTA Red Line platform in the area. Members of the crowd also ran to the station, according to Chicago police.
One gun was recovered during the incident, and a suspect was taken into custody, police said. An investigation is ongoing, and charges were pending Friday.
Police said someone who tried to "obstruct" officers as they attempted to make an arrest was also taken into custody and charged. A third person believed to have handed the alleged gunman the weapon used in the shooting is still being sought.
The mass shooting downtown comes on the first night of a new curfew imposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for unaccompanied young people, sparked by recent violent crime across different areas of the city including armed robberies, fatal shootings and carjackings.