6 dead, 24 hospitalized in shooting during Highland Park parade; shooter still at large
Six people were killed and 24 people were hospitalized after a gunman opened fire during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, authorities said.
Police are actively searching for a gunman who fired on parade goers from the rooftop of a building in downtown Highland Park on Monday morning, shortly after the start of the Independence Day parade. Authorities have not confirmed the shooter’s location, but several eyewitnesses said they saw him there.
Eyewitnesses describe a scene of panic and chaos, as protesters at first thought the noise was fireworks, then fled as fast as they could, leaving all their belongings on the sidewalks , protecting children and plunging into business.
Governor JB Pritzker, who was due to take part in Evanston’s fourth parade – which was later canceled – told reporters this morning that ‘everything is being done to catch the shooter’, indicating the shooter is still at large.
According to The Cardinal, Highland Park Police and Fire/Paramedics responded to a report around 10:15 a.m. Monday of an active shooter and mass shooting at 2nd Street and Central Avenue in Highland Park. The Cardinal said teams that arrived at the scene reported multiple casualties in front of the Walker Bros. Pancake House and that CPR was being performed on them.
An eyewitness told WBBM: “We heard what we thought were fireworks, about 15, then we looked up and saw people running. It looked like a war zone. People were crying, screaming and no one knew what was going on.
Authorities have closed Green Bay Road and Central Road and other roads leading to Highland Park and authorities are urging people to avoid the town.
An emergency responder command center has been set up at Hidden Creek Water Park, adjacent to Highland Park Fire Station No. 3. The scene resembles a military installation, with speakers in fatigues and everyone carrying weapons.
Fourth of July activities in Highland Park have been cancelled, along with events in at least Deerfield, Glenview and Evanston.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said its officers are assisting Highland Park Police.
Eyewitnesses were calling radio WBBM 780 to report what they had seen.
One told WBBM that at first people thought it was fireworks.
“It took 10 to 15 seconds for people to realize this was actually happening,” he told WBBM. He looked up, he said, and saw “the tree being pelted with bullets, and I could see the shooter.”
People fled, leaving everything behind. The eyewitness said he and his family hid behind cars in a parking lot before heading to their car.