‘I was just furious’: Former News 3 Now reporter recounts aftermath of Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting

MADISON, Wis. — Brad Chaimson was taking it all in. It was a beautiful day for the Fourth of July in Highland Park, Illinois, and Chaimson’s town was celebrating in style with a holiday parade.

In a split second, everything changed.

“It was a percussive ‘BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG’ and we knew something wasn’t right,” Chaimson said.

Chaimson saw people running and knew his family had to do the same.

“At that point, I got my kids, I got my wife and friends that were with us and I was like ‘We gotta go, we gotta go,” he said.

Chaimson believes his family was fortunate to make it to safety; they hid in a store until the all-clear was given. But he knew others wouldn’t survive.

“The overwhelming feeling in that moment was just anger,” Chaimson said. “I was just furious.”

In all, seven people were killed and more than 30 people were injured by the shooter, who was eventually arrested.

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“I was really hoping that they would get this guy alive, which they had because it seems like whenever this happens, whoever is responsible… they’re not around to see the aftermath,” Chaimson said.

Ultimately, nothing will bring back the people lost, stop the pain for those injured, or erase the memory of those that were there. Chaimson said he wants this kind of trauma to stop.

“This shouldn’t be a part of America. This shouldn’t be a part of a Fourth of July celebration,” Chaimson said. “This shouldn’t be what happens next week, somewhere else and there has to be a solution but we need people to have the courage to stand up and not be selfish about this.”

Brad Chaimson worked as a News 3 Now’s Rock County Bureau reporter until 2010.