At least three people were stabbed and more than a dozen injured in a subsequent stampede after panic broke out at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Thursday following a Fourth of July fireworks show, police said.
The stabbings came after an argument broke out on the pier around 10 p.m., Chicago police Sgt. Rocco Alioto said at a news conference. Police believe someone shouted "Gun!" in the crowd, causing people to panic, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Just chaos. Chaos. That’s all it was,” a 45-year-old woman visiting the pier told the newspaper. “We got separated from each other because everyone went in different directions when it started. But thank God, He got us all back together. That’s all that matters.”
“Just chaos. Chaos. That’s all it was.”
At least 14 people were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries suffered in the stampede, Alioto said. The three people with stab wounds were taken to local hospitals in serious-to-critical condition, Chicago's WMAQ-TV reported.
Earlier reports that someone was also shot were false, police said. A fourth person, who was originally believed to have been shot, actually suffered a bad puncture wound from banging into an overturned table as he fled the scene, police confirmed. That individual was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but his condition was unknown, WMAQ reported.
It remained unclear what prompted the stabbings, and the victims were "not cooperating" with investigators, Alioto said. The investigation is ongoing.
Several children were separated from their parents in the uproar. Navy Pier’s Guest Services organized family reunifications, according to Chicago Scanner reporter Eric Tendian, who was tweeting updates as the incident unfolded. Thousands of others live-streaming from the pier showed a heavy police presence at the scene, according to the Sun-Times.
Everyone who entered Navy Pier for the fireworks display had to go through a police checkpoint, Alioto said. The stabbings occurred outside the "secure" area of the pier, he said.