The Highland Park Fourth of July parade has been a holiday tradition for Lindsey and Danny Hartman for years, but in a flash, that tradition turned to horror as they were forced to flee for their lives.
“It was a magical moment,” Lindsey Hartman said. “And then in an instant everything changed.”
The couple says that they were watching the parade go by when gunfire rang out on Monday. They say that their first thought was to grab and protect their 4-year-old daughter Scarlett.
“We went from Scarlett dancing in the street to literally running for our lives,” Lindsey said.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Danny says he shielded his daughter as the couple ran from the bullets raining down around them.
“As we were running, the two people standing next to us were shot,” he said.
They got down on the ground, laying on top of one another. Lindsey says she learned the tactic in active shooter drills.
“Bullets were shattering bricks and glass straight over our heads,” Danny said.
When the gunfire briefly stopped, they ran as fast as they could away from Central Avenue, and were able to escape injury.
The couple says that Highland Park is a tight-knit community, and they say that the entire town remains in shock.
As for their story, they are left to wonder what could have possibly happened to their young daughter.
What if something tragic would have happened to Scarlett?”, Danny asked.
“It’s unthinkable,” Lindsey added. “But it’s not, because it happened to people on our street watching a parade.”
The Hartman’s hope sharing their story will help inspire change so that no family will ever have to go through what the victims in Highland Park have in recent days.