Lauren Silva, a mother of two from Deerfield, Illinois, left Monday morning for a quiet breakfast with her boyfriend in Highland Park† She eventually took care of the toddler of a victim of parade shooting still covered in his father’s blood.
Silva, 38, told The Daily Beast that she woke up craving banana pancakes at Walker Bros., a breakfast spot on a corner of the July 4 parade route.
The former event planner and her boyfriend parked in a nearby garage and came to the unfolding scene of carnage.
“We were just opening the door to go up the stairs and we heard it… boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom‘ said Silva. “And it sounded like someone was banging on the glass doors. †
In fact, a sniper had opened fire from the roof on that same corner, killing six people and hospitalizing dozens more.
“I didn’t hear a scream at all, it was eerily quiet,” she said.
She and her friend rushed to help those on the floor when Silva suddenly had a toddler in her arms.
“My boyfriend gave me this little boy and said he was under this dad who got shot in the leg,” she said. “They were trying to stop the bleeding, so I took the boy down to the garage.”
Silva and the boy huddled together for safety, next to another family.
“He kept asking if Mom and Dad would be back soon,” Silva recalls.
The boy, who she said was still wearing diapers, had one shoe on, a few scrapes and a sock covered in blood.
After cleaning the boy’s wounds and she believes she had been downstairs for 20 minutes, Silva came back upstairs to inquire about his father’s status. “Then my friend said he passed,” she said. The Daily Beast could not confirm that.
Finally, Silva said, she handed the boy over to the family they’d been with, who said they’d take him to the hospital. Later, Silva said, the boy was reunited with his grandparents.
As she dealt with the shock of what she had seen, Silva said she kept repeating the time in the basement garage with the child.
“All I could hold on to was that boy’s face, his touch, and the sound of his voice,” she said. “I feel like I want to hold on to a little bit of emotion that I’m feeling — telling that kid his dad would be back.”
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