Seven members of one family were held at gunpoint at a neighborhood park as they were getting ready for soccer practice Tuesday, leaving them stunned and terrified.
According to authorities, the incident occurred Tuesday evening at approximately 7 p.m. at Archer Park near 48th Street and Kilbourn Avenue in Archer Heights.
The victims ranged in age from 14 to 43 years old. Two of the victims, who are brothers, told NBC 5 they go to the park twice a week to practice and play soccer as part of a family league.
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.
“It was definitely scary and a situation that I hope doesn’t happen to anyone,” said one of the victims, who didn’t want to be identified.
The 18-year-old said he was at the park with his 14-year-old brother and five other relatives for soccer practice when they were confronted by the two masked men.
“We were hanging around waiting for the rest of the group to come and a car pulls up,” he said.
The victim said the masked men jumped out of a white Audi with tinted windows. He noticed the car had been circling the block before it doubled parked right in front of them.
“They pointed the gun at us,” he said. “The second guy came around and said 'get on the ground. Don’t move or else you’ll die.'”
The victim, who said he feared for his life during the encounter, dropped to the ground, unsure if other family members would do the same.
“I was worried for my other family members because some of them don’t speak English,” he said. “So I was just worried that they weren’t going to comply because they didn’t understand what they were saying.”
But within seconds everyone had their faces to the pavement as the suspects patted them down.
“I couldn’t see both of them so I’m like 'wow like they’re behind me at any moment they can probably just shoot me if they want too,'” said the younger victim.
The two masked men got away with cash and credit cards. They took off and left everyone on the ground shocked and stunned.
“You’re stealing from people who actually work hard,” said the younger victim. “They come from a different country just to improve their life for their families and themselves.”
The suspects tried using the victims’ credit cards at the gas station and at an ATM. There are surveillance cameras nearby but police haven’t said if those cameras captured the incident or a license plate number.
An investigation remains open.