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Aftermath of Highland Park shooting

First responders take victims away from the scene of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. At least six people were killed. (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Doctor Describes Gruesome 'Wartime Injuries' at Highland Park Shooting

"The people who were killed were killed instantly," said Dr. David Baum, who ran towards the victims after gunfire rang out at a July 4th parade.

Julia Conley

Dr. David Baum, an obstetrician based in Highland Park, Illinois who was attending the Fourth of July parade there on Monday, ended up helping to treat injuries he called "unspeakable" after a gunman killed at least six people and injured 26 others.

The suspect, 21-year-old Robert Crimo III, allegedly used a legally purchased "high-powered rifle," according to the New York Times, in the attack at the Chicago suburb's annual July 4th celebration.

The gunfire caused "wartime injuries," Baum told CNN's "New Day."

"The people who were killed were killed instantly," the doctor said. "The people who were gone were blown up by that gunfire."

Baum noted that he's seen numerous major wounds as a physician, but said "the power of this gun" caused an "evisceration injury" as well as "an unspeakable head injury" in another victim.

"What I saw was just families' lives forever changed because... somebody who shouldn't have had access to a high-powered rifle got up on a rooftop and decided to do what he wanted to do."

The doctor spoke openly about the need for strict regulations to keep people from accessing the type of gun allegedly used by Crimo and other gunmen in recent shootings like the one that killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas in May.

"The horror of what I saw was that this community will never, ever be the same," said Baum. "What I saw was just families' lives forever changed because they were walking down with their kids on their scooters and somebody who shouldn't have had access to a high-powered rifle got up on a rooftop and decided to do what he wanted to do."

He added that he does not understand why Americans can obtain "a weapon that is meant for war." The injuries he saw "are what are seen in victims of war, not victims at a parade," Baum said.

The shooting in Uvalde in May prompted calls from medical professionals and gun control advocates for the release of photos of the injuries caused by AR-15s—the gun used in Uvalde and in a number of other mass shootings in recent years—and similar weapons.

"The problem with this country is the failure to recognize that every week you all are going to a different community with a different Uvalde," Baum told CNN's Jon Berman. "What happened in Texas is horrific. What happened here is horrific."


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