Organizers disappointed shooting overshadowed positive parade

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For the first time in its 85 year history, gunfire rung out along the route of the Bud Billiken parade Saturday.

Chicago police say two teens were shot, after a group approached one of the victims, an 18- year-old and words were exchanged. Someone in the group pulled out a gun and shot the 18-year-old in his arm. A 17-year-old hit in the hand by a bullet, plus a graze wound to his backside.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel pointed out today tens of thousands of people enjoyed the celebration of the new school year. Organizers of the parade were upset the shooting overshadowed the otherwise positive celebration.

“The shooting was one tenth of one percent of what occurred yesterday,” said parade director Beverly Reed Scott. “99.9% of the parade was the most awesome that I have seen.”

The shooting was the first in the parade's long and beloved history. It happened close to the route where thousands of families and children were enjoying the festivities

It was the largest crowd in the parade's history. Estimates put it at a million people watching and 60,000 participating, most of them children and young adults from 3 to 16 years old.

The parade sponsors give out $1.5 million dollars in scholarships. School supplies were passed out along the route. It's the city's education parade.

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  • Max

    “The shooting was 1/10th of 1%? So if 5 shootings during the parade were 5/10th’s of 1% it’s STILL going to be ok and it would still be the “most awesome” parade one would see? I have NEVER seen a “spin” on something so bad to “make it seem soooooo good”. How ignorant. Go ahead and live in denial. So next year, it will be like “WoW! this is a great parade! Except for a shooting or two, don’t mind it. Keep your focus on the parade.

  • Sparky

    No outrage? No Al Sharpton? No near near-riots in protest? Why is it when black on black crime happens we hear crickets, but when another race is involved you want their blood? Such racists.

  • Tikka

    Armed police, state police and security at the parade, but they could not prevent this shooting. The Tribune article with Sheila Simon implied that Illinois new concealed carry law did nothing to prevent this shooting. Yet, according to the law, public gatherings like a parade are gun free zone. Concealed carry holders are prohibited by Illinois law to carry their legal pistols at a parade. Another example that gun free zones are killing zones. It’s time to make the law better.

  • paul douglas

    The parade was shown on t.v. ,so the kids got to show off their hard work. The message of what the parade was about came across. The organizers did a great job!!
    The shooting was a news
    event. It called attention to the violence in the city. The parade showed a sense of community and pride and a vision for thefuture