Suspect is still big after 6 people were killed in July 4 parade near Chicago, police say
At least six people died and 24 were injured in a shooting at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, and police were searching for a suspected carnival shooter. from a rooftop, police said Monday.
Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, who led the incident at the scene, urged people to shelter in place as authorities searched for the suspect, described as a young male wearing a white T-shirt or green.
Lake County major crime task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference that the gunman appeared to have opened fire on marchers from a rooftop with a rifle recovered at the scene. He doesn’t know which building.
Covelli said police believe there was only a single gunman and warned that he should still be considered armed and dangerous.
Police have not released any details about the victims or injured.
“This morning at 10:14, our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said at a news conference.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims at this devastating time. On a day when we come together to celebrate community and freedom, we are mourning the loss instead. tragic in terms of lives and grappling with the horrors inflicted on us.”
Hundreds of marchers – some visibly bloody – fled the parade route after gunfire rang out, leaving their belongings behind.
In the early afternoon, ominous signs of a joyful event suddenly turned horrifying enveloped both sides of Central Street where the shooting took place.
Dozens of baby carriages, some carrying American flags, abandoned children’s bicycles and an abandoned Cinderella helmet. Blankets, lawn chairs, coffee and water bottles were thrown about as people fled.
Police, some in camouflage, continued to pour into the area.
Highland Park Police initially said in a statement early Monday afternoon that five people were killed and 19 taken to hospital, but these numbers were revised shortly after at the press conference.
Witnesses describe ‘chaos’
Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunshots showed a band on a float continuing to perform as people ran past screaming.
Gina Troiani and her son were lining up in daycare to get ready to hit the parade route when she heard a loud sound she believed were fireworks – until she heard everyone shouting about a gunman.
“We started running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press.
Her five-year-old son is riding a bicycle decorated with curled blue and red ribbons. He and the other children in the group held small American flags. The city says on its website that the festivities include a bicycle and children’s pet parade.
Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car.
In a video that Troiani shot on her phone, some children can clearly be startled by the loud noise and run to the side of the road as sirens blare nearby.
“It was just some kind of chaos,” she said. “There are people separated from their families, looking for them. Others just drop their carriages, grab their children and start running.”
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said in a tweet that he is “closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park.”
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a float parade with colleagues and the group was about to turn onto the main road when she saw people running from the area.
“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman told The Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It was like mass chaos down there.”
She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
“I was so scared,” she said. “Just very sad.”