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Six people are dead and at least 24 are injured after a gunman opened fire at a July 4th parade in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday.
The shooter – who remains at large – is said to have opened fire from the roof of what was an outdoor outfitting store, picking off people in the crowd who at first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks.
He is described as being between 18 and 20 years old, of ‘slight build’ with long black hair. He is wearing a white or a blue t-shirt and used a rifle in the attack that he abandoned before fleeing.
Police say he was shooting from a roof along the parade route.
The shooting began some 20 minutes after the start of the parade. Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynn Sweet was at the parade when gunfire rang out.
She has since shared photos and videos from the event which show people lying on the ground, and has described it as a ‘bloodbath’.
The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past
Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots
The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am
Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began
The scene at Highland Park on Monday after the July 4th Parade emptied out amid reports of gunshots. Police have not yet confirmed that anyone was shot
The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees
Witnesses described a ‘sickening’ scene and is it feared that children are among the dead.
‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood.
It was sickening. If this can happen here it can happen anywhere…I saw 12 to 24 injuries… I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’
‘It is sickening. If this can happen here in our suburb it can happen anywhere,’ he added, a reference to the quiet suburb’s low-crime,’ witness Miles Zaremski told CNN.
‘I have never seen this and I’d hope no American would ever see this. I saw 12 to 24 injuries… I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’
Lynn Sweet said there strollers, chairs and flags were abandoned along the parade route and ‘frozen in time’.
President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – has not yet commented on the shooting.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed.
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
‘People started saying `There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there is a shooter”‘ Glickman told the Associated Press.
‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out,” she said.
‘We can’t believe this happened in our little town.’
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area
HIGHLAND PARK, IL – JULY 04: First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting
Among those missing are the parents of one of her friends, she said.
Highland Park is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs; Michael Jordan owns a mansion in the area, and it is also where enormous mansion featured in Home Alone is.
It is among a cluster of wealthy suburbs along the North Shore next to Lake Michigan.
The town’s Mayor, Nancy Rotering, spoke briefly at a press conference along with law enforcement on Monday to share her condolences with the families of those killed.
None of the victims have been named and it’s unclear how old they are.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.
‘I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance. We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community. Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody.
‘If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know.’
Unlike Chicago, which has one of the worst gun violence records in the country, violent crime in Highland Park is almost unheard of.
The average price of a home in Highland Park was $714,000 in April 2022 and the city has a population of around 30,000.