At least six people have died and 24 have been injured in a shooting during a July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, and officers are searching for the shooter, who likely fired into the festivities from a rooftop , police said on Monday.
Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander at the scene, urged people to shelter in place while authorities search for the shooter.
“This morning at 10:14 a.m. our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to the core,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said at the press conference. “Our hearts go out to the families of the victims at this devastating time. On this day when we have come together to celebrate community and freedom, we instead mourn the tragic loss of life and fight back against the terror that has been inflicted on us.
Hundreds of parade goers – some visibly bloodied – fled the parade route after gunfire rang out, leaving their belongings behind.
From early afternoon, signs of a joyous event that suddenly turned into horror filled both sides of Central Street, where the shooting occurred. Dozens of prams, some emblazoned with American flags, abandoned children’s bicycles, a helmet adorned with images of Cinderella were abandoned in their haste. Blankets, lawn chairs, coffees and water bottles were knocked over as people fled.