Kristen Carlson and her family were late to the Highland Park parade on Independence Day. Once they got to the parade a mass of people started racing toward them, screaming that shots had been fired.
"I'm in my mother's house in Highland Park, in the 200 block of Highland, and I think the shooting was around in the 600 block, so it's just a few blocks away and we're sheltering in place in my mom's house," said Carlson.
"It didn't register to me that they were shots," she sobbed. "But then people started running. All these people were running at us and they were screaming that there's a shooter and to run, and then the sirens were so loud and people running, coming running at us and then we were running, and then there were some people who weren't necessarily from the immediate area and we gave them shelter in the backyard. Eventually, everyone got home. They were picked up."
She explained that she has two older kids who were helping young children reunite with families when they got lost.
"People just ran and they just left their stuff and people were running," she continued. "It was terrifying. You could see the terror on their faces. I know I helped a little boy, Andrew, I helped him get back with his family, and there was another little boy who maybe was 7 and he was by himself, and another little boy of about the same age came over to him and said what's your name? And he said, 'my name is Blake.' And that little boy said, 'Blake, run. Come with me.' The little boy's family took Blake and they ran. They were running and the mom was panicked and looking for him, she didn't know where he was and I don't know where he ended up."
Carlson said she knows the family and that they're taking care of him until he can find his family.
"It struck me that these kids were little like between 7 and 10," she explained. "They were scared. They had terrified looks on their faces but they were so composed because they've been through active shooter drills and they knew what to do. They knew what to do because of moments like now."
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