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Parents shielded 4-year-old daughter from shooter's gunfire during Highland Park mass shooting; 'He stole her innocence'

Parents shielded 4-year-old from bullets at Highland Park mass shooting
Parents shielded 4-year-old from bullets at Highland Park mass shooting 02:25

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) -- There was no shortage of heroes in Monday's deadly mass shooting in Highland Park. As the shots rang out at the 4th of July parade, many ran for cover, but didn't run away from helping others.

The stories of survival continue. CBS 2's Charlie De Mar sat down with a husband and wife who shielded their baby from the gunfire, and three sisters who saw other people wounded around them and were prepared to die, only turning to each for strength.

Lindsey Hartman and her husband, Danny, were front and center at the parade with their 4-year-old, Scarlett

"Danny just grabbed Scarlett, and we looked at each other, and we were like, 'run,'" Lindsey said. "Danny laid her on the floor and laid on top of her, and I laid on the side of her to completely protect her from anything that would be flying in our direction."

The couple, unsure of where the gunfire was coming from, was forced to cover Scarlett with their own bodies as more than 70 rounds were fired from a nearby rooftop.

"She's 4. I mean, he stole her innocence yesterday," Lindsey said. "She keeps asking things like, 'Why is that bad guy trying to hurt people?'"

"How has this become an accepted part of our culture?" Danny said.

As the Hartmans sprinted for cover, they ran into sisters Maxie, Maddy, and Mackenzie Mottlowitz.

"I was reeling in my head over and over, accepting the fact that I was about to die, and that is not something anyone should ever experience," Maxie said.

"I was anticipating being hit by bullets, because they were in every direction over us," Mackenzie said.

The sisters turned to each other and their dad to find safety

"I look over and I see just dead bodies right in front of us, and I start to scream. I started to say 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening,' and my dad is like, 'Get up, we're getting out of here,'" Maxie said.

"The three of us, the entire duration of the shooting, continuously and only looked at our dad for direction," Mackenzie said.

The resolve of three sisters now forever bonded with a couple who were determined to save their daughter. 

"We are so lucky. We're here talking to you today. Seven people have died," Lindsey said.

Even for the survivors, this was incredibly traumatic for all involved, and this community won't be healed for some time.

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