Daniel Cater, a new driver for Fortune Fish & Gourmet, was about to make a turn off Milwaukee Avenue in West Town when he saw two people hanging out of a car and shooting at another car.
Two bullets hit the top of his truck, inches from his head, and another bullet pierced a tire during the rolling gunfight through rush-hour traffic late Wednesday afternoon.
“I saw it happen, I knew that was shooting,” Cater said. “I’m still in shock, it was a near-death experience. It’s almost unbelievable ... I could have died right now. I really don’t feel anything.”
At least four bystanders were wounded, one critically, in the shooting which stretched from Hubbard to Grand streets on Milwaukee around 4:45 p.m., officials said.
A fifth person, possibly a suspect, was also shot but others involved in the shooting managed to escape, honking at other drivers to get out of their way as people on sidewalks dove for cover or ran into buildings.
A 29-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the back and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, police said.
A 30-year-old woman and two men, 25 and 48, were taken to the same hospital in good condition, police said.
Another man, 27, was struck in the arm and transported to Stroger Hospital in good condition, police said.
One of the victims is a “possible suspect,” Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott told reporters at the scene.
Crystal Wilson, a ride-share driver, said a passenger in her blue Kia was shot as the gunmen sped through an intersection.
“I thought the noise was like some random fireworks. And then he said, ‘No, I’ve been shot,’” Wilson said. “These guys were hanging out in the window shooting. I was trying to focus on not hitting someone else’s car and... make sure my passenger was OK.”
Wilson stopped and dialed 9-1-1 as another woman came over to help.
“I’ve got a headache, I’m a little shocked,” Wilson said as she waited for officers to inspect her car. “I live in Indiana so I don’t want to just leave my car.”
Dancello Bennett and Harry McGraw were on their way to grab a bite to eat when they heard the gunfire. McGraw dropped to the ground while Bennett tried to run inside a building.
“We literally have an office down the street. Just grabbing lunch and [then] it’s like an all-out gun war, like shooting down the streets,” Bennett said. “It’s wild.”
McGraw said it looked like a gunman from an SUV was shooting at a car in front of them. He thought he heard 20 to 30 gunshots in 10 seconds.
“It was just unbelievable to know that these guys are willing to risk it all in the midst of everybody else, just reckless driving, reckless shooting,” McGraw said. “So we need to pray for Chicago, we need better for Chicago.”
Michelle Peterson, of Lake View, was having a drink on Clover’s patio, 722 W. Grand Ave., with a friend when she heard what she thought were fireworks.
“By the time we heard it, it was kind of too late to do anything about it. Two people were shot right there,” Peterson said. “In broad daylight, in the middle of a busy population area.”