What was supposed to be a fun Fourth of July parade spent with his daughters and grandchildren became something out of a nightmare. Mike Erickson was visiting family in Highland Park with his wife for the holiday when the mass shooting took place.
After being at the parade for no more than 10 minutes, Erickson said they began to see people on the other side of the street running. “I thought it was odd and seconds later, I think it may have been my older daughter, exclaimed ‘something’s not right.'” Just seconds later, chaos ensued.
Erickson said “I heard someone says ‘there’s shooting, there’s shooting’ and immediately a mass group of people stood up, grabbed their kids, grabbed whatever they could and started turning running away from the direction of downtown.”
While running through the crowd, Erickson lost sight of his family. He eventually found one of his daughters pushing her child’s stroller in the crowd and shortly after saw his other daughter and wife trying to run. The Erickson family made it out of the parade safely, but they will be forever changed.
In an email to Wisconsin’s Afternoon News hosts, Erickson wrote “Perhaps every American should have to experience running from an active, fully battlefield-armed shooter to come to their senses.” After experiencing the traumatic event, Erickson said he now understands something needs to be done, and soon.
To hear the full interview, click the sound player above.