Six people were killed and 24 others injured after a shooting erupted at a show on July 4 in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, according to local reports.
Witnesses reported that they heard up to 25 gunshots fired just after 10 a.m. CST on Monday, injuring many in attendance and sending hundreds of show-goers — some bloodied — running from the parade path, leaving behind chairs, strollers and blankets.
Chicago Sun Times She stated that blankets were placed over “three bloodied bodies” and that up to five others were wounded in the shooting. The city later confirmed the death of six people and the injury of twenty others.
Law enforcement was warning people to avoid Highland Park and it was being treated as an active shooting situation.
What we know about the shooting so far
Sgt. Christopher Coveley, of the Lake County Major Crime Squad, said at a news conference shortly before 2 p.m. that the shooter appeared to have taken the sniper’s position on the rooftop.
Police said they recovered a gun from the scene, but still considered the suspect armed and dangerous.
Residents were urged to take shelter.
Witnesses said WGN That a suspect started shooting from the rooftop of Uncle Dan’s retail store in the show below about 10 minutes after the show started.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released shortly after 11 a.m.
“Everyone disperse, please. It is not safe for me to be here,” a policeman told the showgoers.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter it was helping Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the Independence Day Parade Road area.”
Eyewitnesses talk about running away for their lives
Gina Troani and her son queued in nursery line to get ready to walk down the parade route when she heard a loud screeching sound that she thought was fireworks—until she heard people screaming about the shooter.
“We just started running in the opposite direction,” she said.
Her five-year-old son was riding his bike, decorated with red and blue ribbons. He and other children in the group carried small American flags. The city said on its website that the festivities will include a children’s bike show and pets.
Ms Troyani said she pushed her son’s bike, so she ran around the neighborhood to get back to their car.
In a video Troyani took on her phone, some children appeared to be stunned by the loud noises and then rushed onto the side of the road as the siren rang nearby.
“It was just kind of a mess,” she said. “There were people who had been separated from their families and looked for them. Others had just dropped their wagons, grabbed their children and started running.”
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a float parade with co-workers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main road when she saw people running from the area.
“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, and there’s a shooter,'” Glickman said.
“So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos out there.”
She did not hear any noise or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
“I’m so scared,” she said. “It is very sad.”
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rottering said the shooting “terrified” the city of 30,000.
Our hearts are with the families of the victims at this difficult time. On the day we have come together to celebrate community and freedom, we are instead lamenting the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror inflicted upon us,” Ms Rottering said.
She asked everyone in the area to remain calm and on “high alert”.
“Please call your loved ones and make sure they are safe and let them know you are safe too. As you know, this situation is evolving rapidly and we will continue to update you as we obtain information and stabilize the situation,” Ms. Rottering said.
City leaders said on Twitter that all 4th of July rallies were canceled and told residents to avoid the downtown area. Beaches in the area have also been closed.
A perimeter was set up around downtown Highland Park as authorities attempted to locate the shooter.
This was the 308th mass shooting so far in the United States in 2022, according to Gun Violence Archive.
What we know about the shooter
Highland Park Police described the suspect as an 18-20-year-old white man, with long black hair, a small build and wearing a white or blue shirt.
They recovered a rifle from the scene, but still considered the suspect armed and dangerous.
Strange Parallels to the Tragedy of the Christmas Parade in Waukesha
In November 2021, six people were killed and 62 injured when a driver broke through barriers and entered the path of a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, about 75 miles north of Highland Park.
As in Highland Park, strollers and chairs were left scattered along Main Street after the attack.
Daryl Edward Brooks has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and dozens of other crimes.
He was out on bail after being accused of running over a woman a few weeks earlier.
Where is Highland Park?
Located about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago, Highland Park is an affluent suburban city in Illinois on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan.
It has a population of about 30,000 as per the 2020 census.
Several members of the famous 1990s Chicago Bulls NBA team lived in the area, including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Toni Kukoc.
The Associated Press contributed to this report