White Sox shooting: Jerry Reinsdorf makes first public comments on ballpark gunfire

Speaking to reporters before introducing Chris Getz as the team’s new general manager, Reinsdorf stuck to the Sox’ original story that the shooting must have originated outside the stadium.

 Jerry Reinsdorf  White Sox

“Regardless of what anybody has said up to now, they have not ruled out that the shots came from outside the ballpark,” Jerry Reinsdorf said Thursday.

AP

For the first time since a shooting at Guaranteed Rate Field during the White Sox’ game last Friday night made national headlines, team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf commented publicly Thursday.

Speaking to reporters before introducing Chris Getz as the team’s new general manager, Reinsdorf stuck to the Sox’ original story that the shooting must have originated outside of the ballpark.

“The gun story .... I spoke to superintendent [Fred] Waller last night and he authorized me to say regardless of what anybody has said up to now, they have not ruled out that the shots came from outside the ballpark,” Reinsdorf said. “And you can call him and ... he’ll verify that. They’re still investigating. I don’t want to get into specific facts while they’re investigating but have really done a deep dive into this and I don’t see any way in the world that the shots could have come from inside the ballpark.”

A police spokesperson said Wednesday that “no theories have been ruled out.” Waller, the interim police superintendent, had told reporters earlier this week that investigators “almost completely dispelled” the possibility that the gunfire came from outside the stadium, but the theory is now apparently back in play.

“I don’t want to comment on specific details because the police are still investigating and haven’t come to a final conclusion,” Reinsdorf said. “But we have done a lot of investigations, we have gathered a lot of facts.”

Law enforcement sources have told the Sun-Times that police are investigating whether one of the victims sneaked a gun into the stadium, then handed it off to another person after it accidentally discharged.

According to a police report obtained by the Sun-Times, two women were struck by bullets about 7:30 p.m. last Friday while sitting near section 161 of Guaranteed Rate Field during the Sox game against the Oakland Athletics.

One woman, 42, suffered two gunshot wounds to the right leg — one of the bullets traveled through her thigh, and the other struck her calf and became lodged in her shin. She was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Another woman, 26, was grazed by a bullet in her lower abdomen and refused medical treatment.

A third woman sitting in the section found a bullet in the hood of her sweatshirt, which was wrapped around her waist, according to the police report.

The 42-year-old victim has obtained a lawyer who issued a statement Tuesday denying she brought a firearm into Guaranteed Rate Field.

Reinsdorf seems adamant the shots were fired outside of the stadium.

“Let’s let the police continue with their investigation,” Reinsdorf said. “At this point all the superintendent is prepared to say is they have not ruled out that they came from outside the ballpark.

“I believe it’s totally safe to be in this ballpark, I don’t think a gun has ever gotten past security and I think ultimately that will come out and hopefully the police department will conclude their investigation as soon as possible.”

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