Richmond native shares experience with kung fu teacher helping victims during Highland Park shooting

Two members of the Highland Park Temple of Kung Fu helped victims during the Fourth of July Parade shooting this weekend
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This weekend marked the return of Highland Park, Illinois’s annual Independence Day Parade and was the first since the pandemic, but the celebration quickly turned into a horrific scene as a gunman opened fire on the crowd.

Among the thousands in the crowd, Raymond Goode, a Richmond native, was preparing to walk with his group from the Temple of Kung Fu and do a demonstration in front of the spectators.

Goode recently joined the school and was with his instructor, Sifu Richard Baron.

As soon as the Temple of Kung Fu group started walking, they began to hear gunshots ring off in the distance.

“We hear, you know, pop, pop, pop, in the distance, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘I hope that’s fireworks,’” said Baron. “The crowd starts moving backwards; someone is yelling active shooter.”

Goode described the scene as “chaotic” moments after hearing the shots ring out.

“This was chaotic cause there’s people running everywhere,” he said. “There’s people who’s looking for their children.”

As gunfire erupted along the parade route, Goode joined his instructor and another student to lend a helping hand.

“Being a part of Kung Fu and learning from Sifu, you don’t think. We practice and practice over, over a thousand times for that one moment to step in,” said Goode. “As soon as we heard active shooter, we was already engaging. It wasn’t a thinking kind of thing. When a fellow American is being hurt, you instantly go help.”

As this group ran towards the scene to help victims, the two men described helping people caught in the crossfire.

“We immediately came upon a gentleman who had been grazed in the head and had been shot in the back of the shoulder, and we rendered aid,” said Baron.

”One of our students took off his shirt and wrapped it around his head so we can keep pressure on the wound,” Goode said. “He was still in shock.”

The men also encountered a panicked mother looking for her 8-year-old daughter in the crowd. Goode and Baron said that it was nearly impossible to search the area because of the swarm of people running around in an attempt to take cover. The streets became increasingly crowded as more EMS personnel arrived.

At this point, no one knew for sure if the shooter was still active, but this didn’t stop them from trying to assist people and controlling the crowd.

“Telling people to take cover, just screaming directives because when something happens, you have to do something,” Goode said.

This mass shooting rocked a community Baron said is loving and compassionate.

“This person tried to disrupt America’s birthday. He tried to disrupt our democracy,” he said. “He’s trying to put fear in all our hearts.”

In the wake of this tragedy, both men hope this mass shooting will encourage people to unite and fight against fear.

“We feel strongly that there is a whole lot of people trying to scare us all the time, and we can’t let them win,” said Baron

“Bad people do things, and good people have to stand up,” Goode said. “Everybody loses if we don’t protect our humanity.”

The two men also offered their sympathy for the families of those who were injured or killed at the parade.

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