2 shot during White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field, video shows; unclear if bullets came from outside stadium

Stadium footage showed confusion in the left-field bleachers after the shooting, which happened around the fourth inning. Security cleared people out of the section — but the game was completed despite the active crime scene.

SHARE 2 shot during White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field, video shows; unclear if bullets came from outside stadium
Fanáticos de los Chicago White Sox abandonan el Guaranteed Rate Field mientras la policía responde a un tiroteo que tuvo lugar en el estadio.

Chicago White Sox fans leave Guaranteed Rate Field as police respond to a shooting that took place at the stadium, wounding 2 people, during the Chicago White Sox games against the Oakland Athletic’s, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Two women were wounded in a shooting Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field as the White Sox played the Oakland Athletics — a game that carried on for more than an hour with an active crime scene in the left-field bleachers.

Video of the incident provided by the team showed confusion — but no chaos — near Section 161 after the attendees were hit by bullets about 7:30 p.m., according to Chicago police and Sox officials.

In a written statement, the team said it was “unclear to investigators whether the shots were fired from outside or inside the ballpark.”

Fans look toward the ground in the moments after two people were hit by gunfire inside Guaranteed Rate Field during the White Sox game on Friday evening.

Fans in the center of this frame look toward the ground in the moments after two people were hit by gunfire inside Guaranteed Rate Field during the White Sox game on Friday evening.

Screenshot from video provided by Chicago White Sox

A 42-year-old woman was hit in the leg and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in fair condition, police said in a statement released hours after the shooting. A 26-year-old woman declined medical attention for a graze wound to the abdomen.

Scott Reifert, the team’s vice president of communications, said a third person in the group found a bullet that “just landed in their shirt.”

The game wrapped up shortly before 9 p.m., or nearly 90 minutes after officers responded to the shooting. The team reported 21,906 people were in attendance.

“At no time was it believed there was an active threat,” police said.

Chicago police officers stand outside Guaranteed Rate Field after a shooting that took place at the stadium, wounding 2 people, during the Chicago White Sox games against the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Chicago police officers stand outside Guaranteed Rate Field after a shooting that took place at the stadium, wounding 2 people, during the Chicago White Sox game against the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Sox officials said “this incident did not involve an altercation of any kind,” and stadium video “does not indicate any activity prior to the injuries.”

Asked Saturday if police told the Sox to halt the game, Reifert said: “Once the police got here and talked to us, they understood it was not an active threat.”

“The first thing is well wishes to the two fans who were injured last night. [We] continue to hope for their speedy recovery. So far all the news, which is based on last night, is good there.”

A one-minute video clip released by the team shows a group near the aisle of a crowded Section 161, with one person first standing up and looking toward the ground, and then others doing the same. Other fans then flag down security.

The ballpark atmosphere doesn’t skip a beat otherwise, the video shows, with most others in the area showing no reaction. Two children can be seen hopping up the steps nearby moments before the two victims apparently were hit.

“There was no gunshot sound within the ballpark,” Reifert said. “If that happened, there would have been far different reactions from the crowd, from our security, from the CPD.”

Outside the stadium Friday night, fans told reporters that security cleared people out of the section and the game continued.

Those in the stadium were told that a post-game concert by rappers Vanilla Ice and Tone Loc was canceled “due to technical issues.”

Reifert said the concert “was not canceled for any security concern. It was canceled so CPD could go and investigate the area. They needed the lights to be on, and they needed fans to be out of the area.”

A message on the main scoreboard at Guaranteed Rate Field announces the cancellation of an 90s concert that was to feature Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, and Rob Base after a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

A message on the main scoreboard at Guaranteed Rate Field announces the cancellation of an 90s concert that was to feature Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, and Rob Base after a baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

AP Photos

He added that the team is “confident in our security and our response team.”

“We’re very proud of our security... There were layers of security within feet of the incident last night so, we’ve certainly reviewed it. We do after every incident. It’s not something we talk about publicly because it defeats the purpose,” Reifert said.

During a Saturday morning appearance, Mayor Brandon Johnson told ABC7 Saturday’s “game is still scheduled for this evening, and the local police department is doing everything that they can within their power to make sure that we keep people safe.”

Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) said in a statement that she was “shocked and sickened” by the shooting, and that she “requested a meeting with the White Sox to discuss protocols to ensure fans’ safety at future games.”

“As Alderman of this ward and as a fan who has attended many Sox games, I am shocked and sickened by what happened last night, and my heart goes out to the gunshot victims,” Lee said. “I am in ongoing communication with both the Chicago Police Department and the White Sox organization, and it is my promise to our community and our city that we will get to the bottom of this.”

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact detectives at (312) 747-8380, or submit an anonymous tip through CPDTIP.com.

Chicago police SWAT officers walk towards their vehicle after a shooting took place at the stadium during the Chicago White Sox game against the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Chicago police SWAT officers walk towards their vehicle after a shooting took place at the stadium during the Chicago White Sox game against the Oakland Athletics, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Vanilla Ice posted a TikTok video Saturday morning, saying “we were scheduled to perform at the White Sox game, and at the end of the game, there was a shooter. Nobody died, but you know, some nutjob kind of ruined the night for everybody.

“And I just want to say, you know, to the city of Chicago, to the state of Illinois, to all of the organization — of all baseball in general — just, they didn’t deserve this, and the White Sox facility is first-class, second to none. The police did a great job,” said the rapper, whose legal name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle.

Many on social media slammed the team for continuing play as detectives investigated a shooting that happened not far from the Sox bullpen.

“They just kept playing like nothing happened?” one person posted on twitter.com.

“[H]ow do you continue to let the fans be around and finish the game?” another asked, saying fan and player “safety should be the first thing that is important.”

Contributing: James Fegan, Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere and Tom Schuba

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