Six people were killed in a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, and two dozen people were taken to area hospitals with injuries, police said.
Law enforcement agencies are still searching for the suspect, Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill said during a press conference. Police said the suspect hasn’t been identified but described him as a White male, approximately 18-20 years old, with longer black hair, a small build and wearing a white or blue T-shirt. They said he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Investigators said a firearm had been recovered from the scene and it appeared the gunman was shooting from a roof.
The Illinois State Police and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene of the shooting in the suburb north of Chicago a little after 10 a.m. local time. Police and ambulances from several jurisdictions swarmed the area, with some officers carrying rifles. Video from the scene showed people being placed into ambulances.
digital producer Elyssa Kaufman, who was watching the parade with her family, heard what sounded like gunshots.
“Everyone was was running, hiding and screaming,” Kaufman said. “It was extremely terrifying. It was very scary. We are very fortunate, we got out very quickly.”
Some witnesses reported up to 20 shots, according to CBS Chicago.
Witnesses told CBS Chicago there was confusion in the initial aftermath of the shooting over whether the gunshots were part of the Independence Day festivities. A video posted to Twitter by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet, who said she was at the parade, showed a band playing on a truck in the parade as a crowd of people passed the truck, running the other way.
“I remember seeing people, like, you know, running and ducking and, you know, just screaming,” a woman told CBS Chicago. “I ran with my daughter, and I ran into, like, a little store, but I was scared because I didn’t know if they were coming … or if they were, you know, like, in the building.”
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said the rest of the festival has been canceled, and several nearby communities also canceled their parades.
“On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we’re instead mourning the loss, the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us,” Rotering said at a news conference after the shooting.
This is a developing story and will be updated.