Chicago students trash Walmart during walkout over gun violence

Chicago police are trying to identify the dozens of students from Simeon Career Academy who they say took part in a vandalism spree while they were supposed to be protesting guns.

Shoppers and store employees were stunned by the destruction Wednesday morning at the Walmart in Chatham Market on the South Side.

Chicago police say it started when students at neighboring Simeon Career Academy were allowed to leave the school for 17 minutes to take part in the nationwide walkout to protest guns.

Police say between 40 and 60 of those students crossed the street and trashed parts of the store, knocking over product displays, yanking items off shelves, breaking packages and stealing small items like chips and candy.

In a statement, a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson says: "We are very concerned by these allegations and we are reviewing the matter."

Some of the students that FOX 32 talked to at Simeon say they're angry that a walkout intended to promote peace instead led to vandalism and violence.

FOX 32 showed the video to 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins, who was instrumental in getting the big box retailers to move to the South Side.

"We've worked too hard to try to get these national retailers here in our community. And this doesn't help us. It makes no sense to tear up the community which you call home,” he said.

A Chicago police spokesman says they're reviewing what he calls "high quality" video surveillance from Walmart to identify the students at fault, as well as videos posted to social media.

He says those students will likely be charged with misdemeanors and face discipline from the school.