Police: 6 dead, 24 wounded in shooting at July 4 parade
CHICAGO (AP) – Police say six people were killed and 24 hospitalized in a shooting at a July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
Officers are searching for a suspect who likely fired on the festivities from a rooftop using a rifle that was recovered at the scene. . The City of Highland Park advised people in the area to shelter in place as authorities search for the suspect, described as a white male wearing a white or blue T-shirt.
Witnesses described seeing bloodied bodies apparently covered with blankets.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m. but was halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Several witnesses say they heard gunfire.
Hundreds of parade-goers – some visibly bloodied – fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.
A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies.
Police told people: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here.”
Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunfire rang out shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run past, screaming. A photo posted to social media appeared to show pools of blood near upturned chairs in downtown Highland Park.
Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed were fireworks — until hearing people yell about a shooter.
“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press.
Her son, 5, was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city said on it’s website that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade.
Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.”
We are assisting Highland Park Police with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route. STAY OUT OF THE AREA – allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work. pic.twitter.com/PTut6CGZAe— Lake County Sheriff (@LakeCoILSheriff) July 4, 2022
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main route when she saw people running from the area.
“People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”
City leaders said on Twitter that “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”