Shooting at Six Flags amusement park near Chicago leaves 3 injured

GURNEE, Ill. >> Three people were injured in a shooting outside the entrance to a Chicago-area amusement park that caused visitors to rush for safety and prompted the park to close early, authorities said.

Officers responded around 7:50 p.m. Sunday after 911 calls reporting shots fired at Six Flags Great America, about 45 miles north of Chicago, the Gurnee Police Department said.

“The shooting…was not a random act and appeared to be a targeted incident that occurred outside of the park,” police said in a statement posted on Facebook.

According to an initial investigation, police said a white sedan pulled into the parking lot and headed for the park’s main entrance. People got out of the car and shot another person in the parking lot before driving off, police said.

Additional details about the suspects, including the number of people who fired shots, were not immediately released. The police were investigating.

A 17-year-old boy from Aurora, Illinois suffered a thigh injury and a 19-year-old woman from Appleton, Wisconsin suffered a leg injury, police said. They were taken to hospital and their injuries were described as not life-threatening. A third victim suffered a shoulder injury and refused to be taken to hospital.

Six Flags Great America said in a statement that park security immediately responded to the shooting with officers from Gurnee. Spokeswoman Rachel Kendziora said the park closed early Sunday evening, with guests and employees leaving the site under the direction of Gurnee Police.

The park reopened as planned this morning, she said.

WGN News in Chicago spoke with Laurie Walker and her daughter, Grace, who were inside the park when the shooting happened. Walker said they were queuing for an attraction around 7:50 p.m. when she noticed people running.

“‘There’s an active shooter, get down, get down,'” Walker said of hearing someone shout. “We didn’t know what was going on, so we’re going down.”

Walker and her daughter scaled two fences to get to where she could call her husband. Walker told WGN she was able to leave the park soon after.

Gurnee is in Lake County, about 8 miles south of the Wisconsin border. It’s about 20 miles north of Highland Park, where seven people died in a mass shooting during a July 4 parade.

Harold B. McConnell