Six people were fatally shot at a Fourth of July parade near the US city of Chicago, according to officials, and the shooter is still at large. / 4 July parade shooting
When numerous shots were heard shortly after 10:00 local (15:00 GMT), the event in the city of Highland Park was abruptly stopped.
To ensure their safety, residents have been encouraged to stay at home and call their loved ones.
24 individuals, according to city officials, were also hospitalized.
According to Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, “We are actively searching for the person accountable for this shooting.”
The suspect has been identified by police as a white male between the ages of 18 and 20, who is “armed and dangerous” and seems to have randomly chosen to attack parade-goers.
According to a statement from the mayor of Highland Park, police have established a perimeter around the downtown area and found “evidence of a handgun.”
Just a few minutes after the parade started (10:15 local time/15:15 GMT), the alleged shooter started firing at it. As part of the city’s Independence Day festivities, floats, marching bands, and other community entertainment were planned for the event.
Using what police described as a high-powered rifle, the suspect is thought to have fired at members of the public from the rooftop of a neighboring store.
Mayor Nancy Rotering of the city stated, “On a day that we gathered together to celebrate community and freedom, we’re instead lamenting the awful loss of life.”
Witnesses who were there at the incident recalled the horrifying moment when they heard several rounds fired quickly.
It was “the kind of firearm that fires a large number of bullets in a short period of time. extremely loud. Then comes total silence, “said he.
In this suburban region, gun violence is extremely uncommon, he continued: “It’s incredibly strange because I felt so secure here. People are crying, and we are currently hiding in a shelter for our safety. It’s definitely not a pleasant feeling.”
A second witness informed the media that she had seen victims of severe injuries.
She said, “I saw someone on the ground and a female crying next to him. “My mother and I observed at least three more persons on the ground to my left.”
The celebration had been postponed, the mayor of Highland Park announced, and he urged visitors to stay away from the city center.
Beaches have been closed off, nearby suburbs are now under lockdown, and regional parades and fireworks displays have been postponed.
Over holiday weekends, Chicago’s gun violence tends to increase since more people are outside due to the warm weather. Over the Fourth of July weekend in the city of Chicago in 2021, more than 100 people were shot, with 17 of them dying.
The shooting occurs barely one week after the US Congress enacted bipartisan legislation on gun regulation in America, one month after the tragic shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. 4 July parade shooting