Navy Pier Issues Statement After Several Injured on Fourth of July

"Our hearts go out to all who were affected, and we send our thoughts and prayers to those recovering," Navy Pier said in a statement

Navy Pier issued the below statement just before 3 p.m. Friday after more than a dozen people were injured in separate incidents after the Fourth of July fireworks.

"On Thursday, July 4, an incident occurred at Navy Pier that led to multiple injuries to outgoing guests upon the conclusion of the Pier's Fourth of July festivities. Three individuals were involved in an altercation outside of Navy Pier's secured perimeter as guests were exiting the premises. Other reported injuries were related to those who were impacted while fleeing amidst the ensuing panic. Our hearts go out to all who were affected, and we send our thoughts and prayers to those recovering.

"Please know that the safety and security of Navy Pier guests, partners and staff is our top priority every day, and on days when we anticipate a higher volume of guests –such as the Fourth of July – we increase our security measures significantly and take an abundance of precaution to provide a safe environment. The tragic event that transpired Thursday night was an unfortunate isolated incident that the on-­‐site security teams and law enforcement agencies, including Chicago Police Department officers, worked immediately to manage and contain. We are continuing to work with the Chicago Police Department on this matter and to ensure that we are doing all that we can to keep people safe while they are visiting the Pier.

"We thank our guests, partners and staff for their patience, understanding and cooperation while we continue to work through this matter. Navy Pier’s ongoing festivities and free programming have been continuing as planned, with many guests currently enjoying the holiday weekend at the Pier. We will also continue to enforce multiple layers of security year round to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all."

Earlier in the day, Chicago Police said false internal reports of gunfire at Navy Pier after the fireworks prompted police and federal authorities to implement an active shooter protocol, causing a "stampede-like situation." 

"I'd like to extend our thoughts to everyone involved in last night's incident," said Bureau of Patrol Chief Fred Waller. "I was there personally, and I can tell you things were very chaotic amid false reports of a shooting at Navy Pier."

As crowds left the Pier following the fireworks, police received unconfirmed reports that someone lit a firework in the crowd just after 10 p.m., Waller said.

Private security officers assigned to Navy Pier signaled a possible active shooter, Waller said, and directed the crowd to take shelter on the ground.

That prompted the Chicago Police Department, Secret Service, FBI, TSA, Illinois State Police and county support resources to implement an active shooter protocol. They began searching Navy Pier to investigate, Waller said.

People quickly funneled toward the exits after the firecracker went off, and at least 14 people were trampelled.

"In the end," Waller said, "there was never an active shooter and no one was shot."

Commenting on the false shooter report, Supt. Eddie Johnson said of the private security officers: "If you're going to make an errant judgement, we want to err on the side of caution."

Around the same time the firecracker went off, an argument escalated into a stabbing near the McDonald's at Navy Pier.

At least two individuals began arguing and taunting each other, Waller said. It escalated, a young man pulled out a knife and stabbed three individuals.

A 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the arm and rib, and a 15-year-old boy was stabbed in the armpit, police said. Both were listed Friday in stable condition. 

A 30-year-old was stabbed in the face and arm. Police initially said he wasn't involved in the fight as he couldn't remember any details about the stabbing.

In all 31 juveniles were arrested July 4 for disorderly conduct-related charges, and five adults were arrested, including two gun arrests. 

Police also initially said the incident occurred outside the secured area of the pier, noting all visitors entering Navy Pier were put through a security screening process before the fireworks show.

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