A doctor who treated victims at the site of the deadly shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, described their wounds as “wartime injuries.”
Dr. David Baum, an obstetrician and local resident who attended the parade with his family, told CNN’s “New Day” he ran in to help, adding that some of those shot were killed instantly.
“The people who were gone were blown up by that gunfire,” Baum said, speaking to the power of the rifle used in the shooting.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said the gunman bought the weapon — which police described as a “high-powered rifle” — legally, according to CBS. Robert E. Crimo III, 22, shot at the parade from a nearby rooftop, killing at least six people, including a man in his 70s and a local synagogue member, and injuring 26 others.
Baum said the state of some of the victims’ bodies is “unspeakable for the average person.”
“Having been a physician, I’ve seen things in ERs, you know, you do see lots of blood,” Baum told CNN’s John Berman. “But the bodies were literally — some of the bodies — it was an evisceration injury from the power of this gun and the bullets.”
Baum added the wounds he saw on those killed were reminiscent of war.
“And the injuries … that I saw — I never served — but those are wartime injuries,” Baum said. “Those are what are seen in victims of war, not victims at a parade.”
A 2017 HuffPost investigation included accounts from trauma surgeons on the effects gunshot wounds have on peoples’ bodies.
This was not the only shooting to take place over the July 4 holiday. Two police officers were reportedly shot at an Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia, but both were released from hospital by the end of the day.
Last month, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan gun safety bill, which includes enhanced background checks for those under 21 and additional funds for mental health.
“But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,” Biden said in a statement Monday.