5 dead, 19 injured in parade near Chicago
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Five people were killed and at least 19 injured as gunfire and mayhem shattered a Fourth of July parade in this affluent Chicago suburb on Monday, police said.
It was not immediately known whether the shooter was still at large. Video from the scene shows dozens of people running for cover as music continues to play minutes after the event began at 10 a.m. local time.
“Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park,” the city said in a Facebook post. “The fourth festival has been canceled.”
The city asked residents to avoid downtown and said more information would be shared as it becomes available. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., was at the parade.
“My campaign team and I were gathered at the start of the parade when filming began,” Schneider said on Twitter. “My team and I are safe. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that they were “attending Highland Park Police in a shootout in the Independence Day Parade route area.”
Sirens wailed on the 88-degree overcast day as law enforcement vehicles circled residential streets and residents stood anxiously on driveways and sidewalks.
Manuel Rangel, 28, said he saw dozens of people running outside his house, away from the downtown parade area.
“They looked scared. They were freaking out,” he told USA TODAY. “You never see those things here. It’s a quiet place.
Emir Gomez, 41, stood outside his parents’ house opposite the fire station as sirens continued to sound and a helicopter hovered overhead. He said he was visiting his parents for the parade and was positioned near the end of the parade.
“It’s a tradition we do every year,” he said. “We saw two police cars drive off in the opposite direction, which was unusual. We saw people running. They carried what they could.
“Things like this shouldn’t happen here. And now it is. Are we safe anywhere?”
Highland Park resident Debbie Glickman told The Associated Press she was on a parade float with colleagues and the group was ready to turn onto the main road when she saw people fleeing the area .
“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman said. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like a mass chaos there.
She heard no noise and saw no one who appeared injured.
“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s so sad.”
Highland Park is about 25 miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. The village of Deerfield, three miles west of Highland Park, tweeted that “Due to a shooting in Highland Park, Family Day activities at Jewett Park have been canceled and the parade is cancelled. Please share the fact that parade activities are canceled with your family and friends.”