Highland Park Shooting: Everything We Know About the Shootings During the 4th of July Parade in Illinois

Six people were killed and 24 injured after gunfire erupted during a July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, according to local reports.

Witnesses reported hearing up to 25 gunshots just after 10 a.m. CDT Monday, which hit several attendees and sent hundreds of parade-goers – some visibly bloodied – fleeing the parade route, leaving behind chairs, strollers and blankets.

The Chicago Sun Times reported that blankets were placed over “three bloody bodies” and up to five other people were injured in the shooting. The city later confirmed six dead and two dozen injured.

Law enforcement was warning people to avoid Highland Park and this was being treated as an active shooter situation.

What we know about filming so far

sergeant. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said at a press conference just before 1 p.m. CTD that the shooter appeared to have taken up a sniper position on the roof.

They recovered a high-powered rifle from the scene, but still consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous, police said.

The conditions of the injured ranged from serious to critical, Covelli added.

“It was very random, very intentional and a very sad day,” Mr. Covelli said in a later update, adding that the suspect may still be in town or may have fled the area.

Officers ran to the shooter when the gunfire started but say he was ‘inconspicuous and difficult to see’.

Residents were asked to shelter in place.

More than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement officers, including the FBI, are working on the investigation, Covelli said.

Witnesses said WGN that a suspect began shooting from the roof of an Uncle Dan’s retail store in the parade below about 10 minutes into the parade.

The shooting occurred “in the area of ​​the Independence Day Parade route,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released shortly after 11 a.m. CDT.

“Everyone disperse, please. It’s not safe to be here,” a policeman told onlookers at the parade.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it was assisting Highland Park Police “with a shootout in the Independence Day Parade route area.”

Eyewitnesses say they ran for their lives

Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with her daycare class ready to march down the parade route when she heard a loud noise she thought was fireworks – until she heard people screaming about a shooter.

“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she said.

Her five-year-old son rode his bicycle decorated with red and blue curly ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city said on its website that the festivities were to include a parade of bicycles and children’s animals.

Ms Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, crossing the neighborhood to get back to his car.

In a video Troiani shot on his phone, some of the children are visibly startled by the loud noise, then rush to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.

It was just kind of a chaos,” she said. “There were people who were separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their carts, grabbed their kids and started running.

Highland Park resident Debbie Glickman said she was on a parade float with colleagues and the group was preparing to turn onto the main road when she saw people fleeing the area.

“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman said.

“So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like a mass chaos there.

She heard no noise and saw no one who appeared injured.

“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s so sad.”

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said the shooting had “terrorized” the town of 30,000.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims during this devastating time. On a day when we have come together to celebrate community and freedom, we instead mourn the tragic loss of life and fight the terror that has been inflicted upon us,” Ms Rotering said.

She asked everyone in the area to remain calm and on “high alert”.

“Please reach out to your loved ones and make sure they are safe and let them know you are safe too. This situation, as you know, is changing rapidly and we will continue to update you as we gain information and stabilize the situation,” Ms Rotering said.

City leaders said on Twitter that all Fourth of July parades had been canceled and asked residents to avoid downtown. Area beaches were also closed.

A perimeter was set up around downtown Highland Park as authorities attempted to locate the shooter.

It was the 308th mass shooting 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 male with long dark hair, short stature and wearing a white or blue t-shirt.

They recovered a high-powered rifle from the scene, but still consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous.

The gun was being rushed by the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms to identify who it belonged to, a spokesperson told CNN.

Police admitted they did not know if he was still in the area or had already fled.

Nearby communities including Elk Grove Village, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Rolling Meadows have canceled July 4 events and closed beaches “due to high caution.”

Strange parallels to the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy

In November 2021, six people were killed and 62 others injured when a driver ran through barricades and found himself in the path of a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, about 75 miles north of Highland Park.

As happened in Highland Park, pushchairs and chairs were strewn along the main street after the attack.

Darrell Edward Brooks has been charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide and dozens of other offences.

He had been released 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 town in Illinois on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan.

It has about 30,000 inhabitants, according to the 2020 census.

Several members of the famous Chicago Bulls NBA team of the 1990s lived in the area, including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc.

Lawmakers react to the shooting

President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was watching the shooting closely.

“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again caused heartbreak in an American community on this Independence Day.”

Mr Biden, who signed the gun control legislation last month, said there was “a lot more work to do”.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois condemned the shooter’s actions on Monday afternoon.

“There are no words for the kind of monster that stalks and shoots at a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” he said in a statement.

“There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their future.”

Senator Dick Durbin, the second-tier Democrat, said in a tweet that he had spoken to Ms Rotering, the mayor of Highland Park.

“Unimaginable horror during this mass shooting. The details are even difficult to repeat. My office is in contact with law enforcement looking for the alleged shooter.

“At least six dead and 24 injured at this stage. Pray for all.

Associated Press contributed to this report

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