At Least 6 Killed In Shooting At Fourth Of July Parade In Highland Park, Illinois

At least six people were killed and 24 others transferred to the hospital after a shooting that interrupted a Fourth of July parade in an Illinois town, police said Monday.

The town of Highland Park — which is about 25 miles north of Chicago and has approximately 30,000 residents — is asking people to shelter in place because the shooter is still at large nearly three hours after the shooting.

Police recovered a rifle but still consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous, according to Chris Covelli, a spokesperson for Lake County Major Crime Task Force. Covelli described the shooter as a white male, about 18 to 20 years old, who appeared to fire shots from a rooftop. He said the shooting appeared to be “completely random.”

People fled the parade route in panic as gunshots rang out at 10:14 a.m. local time, abandoning chairs, coolers and baby strollers. Video on social media showed a band on a float continuing to play as people ran past in fear, clutching their children.

The parade, with its floats and marching bands, was part of a full day of planned Fourth of July events. It’s a longstanding tradition in Highland Park, an affluent town that’s been used a setting for films like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Risky Business.”

Witnesses told WGN-TV about the confusion that ensued when they heard loud bangs. Some people thought the sound was fireworks.

Highland Park resident Debbie Glickman, who was on a parade float at the time, told The Associated Press, “People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter.’ So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”

Witness Alexander Sandoval told WGN that he put his son in a dumpster for safety while he went back to find the rest of his family. “When I went back, there was people shot on the ground, there was a little boy that was being carried away, probably 6 to 8 years old.”

“That was the worst part of all of this — being a father, hiding your children, seeing a little boy carried away. I can’t imagine what that family is going through right now,” he said.

Terrified parade-goers fled Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade after shots were fired, leaving behind their belongings as they sought safety.

Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said the Fourth Fest celebration, scheduled to start at noon, was canceled. Other nearby suburbs such as Evanston, Skokie, Deerfield, Glencoe, Winnetka and Morton Grove canceled their Fourth of July events.f

Police from Lake County and Illinois State Police also responded to the incident.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) left a Fourth of July event at Hyde Park in Chicago when he heard about the shooting.

“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Pritzker wrote in a statement.

“I will stand firm with llinoisans and Americans: we must — and we will — end this plague of gun violence.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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