Dr David Baum helped the victims of the Massive Highland Park Parade shooting

In the moments after a gunman opened fire during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, bystanders wasted no time rushing to help the victims.

Among them was David Baum, a local doctor, who stood with members of his family just 200 feet from the majority of the victims, he said.

“All of a sudden, you heard these Howitzer-like noises. Immediately people started shouting ‘body down, shooter’ and they all started to disperse,” he recalled.

“I told my family to flee,” Baum said. He remained briefly in a place sheltered from the gunfire. “Then I kind of stayed stayed until I thought maybe, maybe there was no more threat. »

After the shooting stopped, “there were a lot of people screaming,” he said.

“There were six bodies that were immediately assessed as dead. These bodies were literally blown away by these bullets. (Authorities confirmed Monday afternoon that at least six people had been killed; the shooter remained at large.)

Other victims were shot in the arms or legs, Baum said. “I saw horrific and devastating injuries, the kind you normally see in a war. »

As emergency responders tended to the victims, Baum said he collaborated with other medical professionals, including a nurse, nurse practitioner, emergency physician and plastic surgeon.

The July 4 parade is an annual event in Highland Park, a leafy suburb north of Chicago. According to Baum, a children’s parade preceded the main event. His daughter, son-in-law and grandson all attended; her grandson pushed a toy lawn mower as he walked.

After the children’s event, Baum said, community ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles took their turn in the festivities. But as the Highland Park High School group passed, the joyous day was shattered by gunfire.

Monday’s attack will likely take the community years to come, much like similar mass shootings that have plagued the country. This year alone, there have been more than a dozen such shootings, including one in May at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 teachers and killed two teachers.

“I don’t think I need to describe the horrific nature of what the bullets did to those bodies, but it was horrific,” Baum said of Monday’s attack. “As a doctor for 33 years, blood doesn’t bother me. But seeing people’s heads exploding and bodies gutted would bother anyone there, except maybe a doctor.

He sought to downplay his work helping victims, “I don’t want to be out there as anything other than, like, a doctor who didn’t run for his life,” Baum added. “It’s not a hero thing that I did. The only thing I haven’t done is run away.

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