At least six people were killed and 31 others were hospitalized following a shooting at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday.
The city of Highland Park initially stated that 16 people were injured and five were killed, but officials amended the total to six dead and 31 injured during an afternoon press conference. Authorities said a “high-powered” rifle had been located on a rooftop, but did not offer more details.
“Law enforcement agencies are searching for the suspect; evidence of a firearm has been recovered. The suspect is described as a White male, 18-20 years old, with longish black hair and a slight build. Numerous law enforcement officers are responding and have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park,” the city wrote in a statement.
Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Crimes Task Force said at least 100 law enforcement officers are on scene “aggressively” looking for the suspect. He appealed to nearby businesses and parade attendees to review their photos and videos to give to police for the investigation.
Covelli said several of the victims – all adults – died at the scene and at least one died after being transported to a hospital. The other injured victims were transported to Lake and Cook County Hospitals and their conditions ranged from “serious” to “critical.” At least one of those critically injured was a child, authorities said.
Residents within about a mile radius were told to shelter in place as authorities investigated.
Witnesses say crowds fled the sound of gunfire, and others saw at least five bloodied people lying on the ground and others under blankets, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Authorities, meanwhile, were setting up a reunification post at the Highland Park Police Department for families who had been separated.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering urged residents to avoid the downtown area as police respond to the incident.
“Highland Park Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park,” she announced on Twitter. “Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”
Democratic Illinois Gov. Pritzker also confirmed that he and his staff are “closely monitoring” the situation.
“Our hearts go out to the people of Highland Park and all those affected by today’s tragic events,” Chicago Police Superintendent David O. Brown said in a tweet. “The #ChicagoPolice Department stands with the City of Highland Park during this devastating time.”
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed on the shooting and that DHS is coordinating with local, state, and federal partners to offer the Department’s support.
Rep. Brad Schnider, D-Ill, says he was in attendance at the parade at the time of the shooting. He confirmed he is safe in a tweet, but did not offer any details regarding the situation.
“Today a shooter struck in Highland Park during the Independence Day parade. My campaign team and I were gathering at the start of the parade when the shooting started,” Schnider wrote. “My team and I are safe and secure. We are monitoring the situation closely and in touch with the Mayor.”
“Hearing of loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer. Enough is enough!” he added
This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates.
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