Three people were injured in a Sunday night shooting in the parking lot at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.
Park spokesperson Rachel Kendziora told the Daily Herald that the shots were fired from a car which then immediately drove away. Two of the injured guests were taken to a hospital, Kendziora said, and the third declined treatment.
It is not uncommon for Great America not to staff their parking lot booths later in the day, so any car entering the lot close to closing time likely wouldn’t have been checked for a parking or season pass.
At 11:30 p.m. Sunday, the Gurnee Police Department said in a press release:
At approximately 7:50 PM, the Gurnee Police Department received multiple 911 calls regarding shots fired at the Six Flags theme park in Gurnee, IL. Gurnee Police Officers immediately responded to the area and learned the suspect vehicle fled the scene.
Based on the initial investigation, a white sedan entered the Six Flags parking lot and drove toward the front entrance of the theme park. The suspects exited the vehicle and began shooting toward another individual in the parking lot. The suspects got back in the white sedan and quickly left the area.
Two victims were transported to the Advocate Condell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. A 17 year-old-male from Aurora, IL, with an upper thigh wound, and a 19 year-old-female from Appleton, WI, with a lower leg wound. A third victim sustained a shoulder injury and declined transport to the hospital.
The shooting this evening was not a random act, and appeared to be a targeted incident that occurred outside the park. This was not an active shooter incident inside the park. The Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) is currently assisting with clearing the theme park of guests and staff.
This incident remains under investigation, and more information will be shared when it becomes available.
Reports of a heavy police presence outside the park was first reported on social media. WGN reported that one guest, Laurie Walker, was waiting with her daughter in the queue for Ricochet — located near the back of the park in the Southwest Territory section — when word of a shooting spread among guests around 7:50 p.m.
“There is an active shooter — get down, get down,” Walker recalled another guest shouting. Another guest, Charlie Donda, told CBS Chicago, “I thought there were fireworks right away. Then we saw hundreds of people running. It was pretty scary but we are safe.”
Videos later showed guests leaving the park with a heavy police presence just outside the entrance.
Six Flags Great America is about a 17-mile drive away from Highland Park, Illinois, where seven people were killed in a mass shooting during a Fourth of July parade.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated after its original publication with a press release from Gurnee police.