During morning patrols, a police officer discovered a family of 10 huddled under a makeshift shelter of blankets on the street. They were war refugees in a way, but this sad story doesn't come from Syria... it comes from Madison, Wisconsin.
The Smoking Gun reports that the group were "shocked" by the officer's concern for their well-being, though possibly not as shocked as he was to hear their tale. This group of four adults, a five-month-old baby, several toddlers, and two older children had been on the Madison streets for two weeks, camping near the State Capitol.
And they came from Chicago.
"They explained they had escaped the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago's South Side," the police said.
The group explained that they had "fled Chicago from where a lot of shootings and deaths were occurring." The officer added, "It was just too dangerous to stay; some people they knew were killed."
Police added that the group had not been panhandling or asking for handouts.
The family received immediate aid from the police, including food, money and short-term housing provided by three local churches. The report concludes that while the family's "future still holds many questions," they are now "away from the bullets."
The report neglects to describe how the family managed to make the 150-mile journey from Chicago to Madison.
Chicago has seen a massive increase in crime over the past few years, particularly gang-related gun violence. Last year was one of the most violent on record, and, while this year showed some signs of slowing down, Chicago has now been dubbed the murder capital of the US, passing New York and Detroit.