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After man is shot during youth football game, some question whether playing in Chicago park is safe

Parents worry after gunfire erupts near Chicago youth football game
Parents worry after gunfire erupts near Chicago youth football game 01:55

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Gunfire erupted this past weekend at a youth football game at a South Side park – forcing kids, parents, and coaches to scramble to safety.

The game got cut short. And as CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Monday night, some are wondering if it's even safe to keep playing in the park.

On Monday evening, youngsters were back on the practice field at Mandrake Park, at 3858 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Oakland neighborhood. Over the weekend during a youth football game, Chicago Police said someone opened fire at halftime.

Instead of tackles, the players dodged bullets.

"We've got to do better as far as looking out for these kids," said Tkeya West.

West is a parent. Her son's team played at the park last Saturday – but her son was not there himself.

"We had stuff going on that weekend," West said.

Yet the mother was thankful her son missed the game – but she worries about what the other children witnessed.

"Being out here is what they come out here to do and have fun," West said. "Why would do that? Why would you take something so precious and innocent away from them?"

Police said around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, two men with guns approached and started shooting at a 29-year-old man attending the game. That man was shot in the leg and hip.

It all leaves many – including West – to question what's a safe place.

"They should be focused on the game," she said.

The shooters were not bothered that others, including children, were there.

"People don't care anymore, and it's not right," West said.

Yet West knows so many will be traumatized by what played out in front of them.

"What are we doing as a whole to help these kids when they experience stuff like this - the trauma of someone getting killed or shot there right next to them?" she said.

Thankfully, no children or other spectators were injured. Yet it leaves many to wonder when the violence will stop.

West sent a message to the shooters on the run.

"How would they feel if one of their kids was out there and traumatized by something like that?" she said.

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