At least 6 killed in mass shooting at Fourth of July parade in Illinois, officials say

·4 min read

UPDATE: A “person of interest” was arrested after “a brief pursuit,” police said Monday evening. Police say the person will be questioned to determine if he was involved in the shooting.

The original story is below.

A gunman firing from a rooftop killed at least six people and injured dozens more at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, authorities say.

The shooting was reported Monday in the area of the parade route, the sheriff’s office said. WLS reported the shooting began 10 minutes after the beginning of the 10 a.m. parade.

Six people were killed and 24 more were taken to area hospitals, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said during a news conference.

“A vast majority suffered gunshot wounds and the remaining sustained injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos at the parade,” a NorthShore Highland Park Hospital told WMAQ.

As of noon CT, the shooting remained an “active incident,” Highland Park police said.

“This morning at 10:14, our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core,” Rotering said.

The shooter, who was still at large as of Monday afternoon, is described by Highland Park Cmdr. Chris O’Neill as a man between the ages of 18 and 20 years old. He has longer black hair, a small build and was wearing a white or blue T-shirt, O’Neill said.

Police said evidence of a firearm has been recovered, and numerous police agencies have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park.

Adrienne Drell, who was sitting on a curb watching the parade, described the day as a “quiet, peaceful, lovely morning” before gunshots rang out.

“Within seconds, to have that peacefulness suddenly ripped apart, it’s scary,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You can’t go anywhere, you can’t find peace. I think we’re falling apart.”

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said the shooter was using a rifle as he fired from a rooftop. There is no indication the shooter, who investigators are attempting to identity, is barricaded or has hostages, Covelli said.

My condolences to the family and loved ones,” said Brad Schneider, who represents Illinois’ 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The sound of repeated gunfire can be heard in a video shared on social media. People taking part in the parade, as well as spectators, are shown running after the shooting begins.

“Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here,” police were telling people along the parade route, WLS reported.

At least 25 shots were fired, according to the Sun-Times.

“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,” parade attendee Larry Bloom told WMAQ. “I was screaming and people were screaming. 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.”

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said he and his staff “are closely monitoring the situation” and are working with local officials.

The city of Highland Park said its Fourth of July events were canceled.

“Please avoid downtown Highland Park,” the city said. “Take shelter if in downtown HP.”

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, was on the parade route when she saw people running away, she told the Associated Press.

“People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman said. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”

Miguel Rangel told USA Today he saw dozens of people run past his house away from the parade route.

“They looked scared. They were panicking,” he said. “You never see those things here. It’s a quiet place.”

Ariel Rotbol, who was walking the parade, described the shooting as “a war scene.”

“People just in hysteria. We saw the helicopter, the cars, Homeland Security coming in,” she told WLS. “In Highland Park, we have not experienced this yet and I don’t think anybody obviously thought this is what was going to happen today and it is just hard to fathom.”

“House of Cards” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” actress Rachel Brosnahan, who grew up in Highland Park, said the parade “is a highlight of the year for so many families.”

“I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out, but I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words,” she said.

Highland Park is a city of 30,000 people along Lake Michigan north of downtown Chicago.