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At least six people were killed and 24 taken to hospitals after gunfire erupted at a July Fourth parade in an affluent Chicago suburb on Monday, authorities said.
A firearm has been found and police are searching for a gunman who opened fire at about 10:14 a.m. CDT, Highland Park police Commander Chris O’Neill told reporters.
The city of Highland Park confirmed that there’s “an active shooter incident” and urged all “individuals are advised to shelter in place.”
“Law enforcement agencies are searching for the suspect; evidence of a firearm has been recovered,” the city said. “Numerous law enforcement officers are responding and have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park. 16 people have been transferred to the hospital; 5 individuals are confirmed deceased.”
The shooting happened “in the area of the Independence Day parade route,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Illinois State Police also responded to the scene, “assisting Highland Park PD with an active shoot situation,” according to a statement the agency tweeted.
Police were spotted scouring rooftops around Central Avenue near Green Bay Road and Second Street.
“Unfortunately as you may know, we have an active shooter situation in Highland Park at their parade,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told reporters at an Independence Day event in nearby Evanston. “… I’m still getting reports.”
Police have not released a description of the gunman.
Fourth of July events in other Chicago suburbs, Evanston and Skokie, were also called off in the wake of the Highland Park shooting.
U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider was at the Highland Park event when shots rang out.
“My campaign team and I were gathering at the start of the parade when shooting started,” the lawmaker said in a statement. “My team and I are safe and secure.”
Witness Larry Bloom said at first people thought the popping sound was part of the parade.
“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and I think everybody kinda thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats and then it just opened up,” he told NBC Chicago.
“I was screaming and people were screaming,” Bloom added. “They were panicking and and they were just scattering and I, you know, we didn’t know. You know, it was right on top of us.”
This is a developing story. Please refresh here for updates.