CHICAGO (WLS) — It felt like business as usual at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Saturday afternoon despite a shooting overnight that sent one person to the hospital.
“It’s just sad hear, because we’re all better than that,” said Navy Pier visitor Malachia Sanders.
Chicago police said a 31-year-old woman was shot and wounded following a verbal altercation while on an evening cruise at Navy Pier.
Witnesses said it happened around 12:20 a.m. as both the victim and the alleged shooter were getting off the boat in the 600 block of East Grand Avenue.
Following the argument, investigators said, the man was escorted off the vessel by security, but he returned moments later and fired multiple shots toward the ship. People visiting the pier described hearing the gunshots.
“As we were leaving, we heard four or five different shots. We didn’t see anything, unfortunately,” Brendan Bowler said.
A woman was shot in the left knee and was taken to an area hospital. It’s unclear if she was the person arguing with the man earlier.
A spokesperson for Navy Pier said law enforcement was able to identify the shooter and his vehicle.
“Our hearts go out the victim who is currently recovering in the hospital,” Navy Pier spokesperson Bonni Pear said, in part. “The entire pier is open to welcome guests, and operations are back to normal.”
The shooting happened just hours before one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations hosts a number of Halloween trick-or-treat events for families, including the Bidwells, who came downtown with their 1-year-old son, Oliver.
“There’s just so much more to do. It’s very family-friendly, too. We can grab something to eat at the same time, and he gets to run around the museum,” said Jessie Bidwell.
There are over a dozen events planned at Navy Pier Saturday, including Harry Caray’s Halloween Costume Contest, Slightly Spooky Saturday and Amazing Chicago’s Haunted House and Garden of Decay.
Still, it appears a few people stayed away because of the cold weather, and not the violence.
“We’ve had similar experiences in our own neighborhood in West Town. It’s kind of why we came here. It’s a tough time in the city. I think there’s a lot going on,” said Matt Bidwell.
Authorities said there is no active threat to Navy Pier at this time. That’s some comfort to Mika Johnson, who is celebrating her birthday on one of the cruises at the pier.
“I think it’s safe down here. We were just trying to figure out where it’s nice and safe at,” Johnson said.