Central Highlands Park on July 4, mass parade shot and killed 6 individuals, greater than 2 dozen individuals have been hospitalized; the shooter is sought

Six people were killed and more than two dozen others injured when a gunman using a high-powered rifle fired from a rooftop at attendees at Highland Park’s July 4 parade on Monday.

Authorities continued to search for the shooter Monday afternoon, and “the offender has not been arrested to date,” said Christopher Covelli of the Lake County sheriff’s office and the Lake County major crime task force. said at a news conference hours after the shooting.

Covelli said the gunman used “a large-capacity rifle” that was recovered, and he fired from a rooftop. “He’s very discreet and very hard to see.”

He called the crime “very random, very intentional”.

It appears the gunman used an “unsafe” ladder to climb to the rooftop, Covelli said.

The FBI asks anyone with video of the shooting or possible information about the shooter to call their toll-free number at (800) CALL-FBI.

According to Highland Park Police, Cmdr, investigators are focusing their search around Highland Park in the heart of the city in the area adjacent to Green Bay Road, Laurel Avenue, St. John’s and Elm Place. Chris O’Neill. People outside that area are no longer required to shelter in place.

Covelli said drones and dogs have been used in an attempt to track down the suspect, and the rifle’s possession history is being examined by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lake County coroner Jennifer Banek said five people died at the scene, all adults, and another person died at a hospital. It is not clear how old the sixth victim is.

All victims have been identified, although authorities are still notifying the family at 3:30 pm

Fire officials said they took 23 people to the hospital, including a seriously injured child, and other victims went to the hospital on their own.

Dozens of injured people were taken to Highland Park Hospital, Lake Forest Hospital and Evanston Hospital. “The majority” were treated for gunshot wounds, although some were “intermittent injuries from the chaos that followed at the parade,” according to NorthShore University Health System, which owns Highland Park hospitals. and Evanston.

One witness said he counted more than 20 shots.

Miles Zaremski, a resident of Highland Park, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I heard between 20 and 25 shots, one after the other very quickly. So it can’t just be a shotgun or a shotgun.”

Zaremski said he saw “people in that area getting shot,” including “a woman covered in blood. . . She didn’t make it.”

As they fled the parade route on Central Street in downtown Highland Park, panicked marchers abandoned chairs, baby strollers and blankets as they sought cover, unsure of what had happened. happen. Even as everyone ran, a klezmer band, seemingly oblivious to the gunfire, kept playing.

O’Neill said the suspect appeared to be between 18 and 20 years old, white and wearing a blue T-shirt.

Adrienne Drell, a former Sun-Times reporter, said she was sitting on the sidewalk along Central Avenue watching the parade when members of the Highland Park High School marching band began to run.

“Go to Sunset,” Drell said she heard students shouting, directing everyone to nearby Sunset Foods.

A man carried her off the curb and urged her to get out, Drell said.

“The whole town is panicking,” she said. “Everyone is stunned beyond belief.”

She ran to a nearby parking lot with others who had watched the parade.

“It was a quiet, peaceful, lovely morning, everyone was enjoying the parade,” said Drell. “Within seconds, that peace was suddenly torn apart, it was terrifying. You cannot go anywhere, you cannot find peace. I think we’re disbanding.”

Horrified marchers fled Highland Park's 4th of July parade after shots were fired, leaving their belongings behind as they searched for safety.

Horrified marchers fled Highland Park’s 4th of July parade after shots were fired, leaving their belongings behind as they searched for safety.

Eric Trotter, 37, who lives a block from the block where the shooting occurred, echoed that sentiment.

“I was in shock,” Trotter said. “How could this happen in a peaceful community like Highland Park.”

As the police car sped up Central Avenue, sirens blaring, and Alexander Sandoval, 39, sat on a bench and cried. He got up before 7 a.m. to arrange lawn chairs and a blanket in front of the main stage of the parade. He lives within walking distance from there, so he went home to have breakfast with his son, partner and stepdaughter before heading back for the parade.

Hours later, he said he and his family ran after hearing gunshots, fearing for their lives.

“We’ve seen Navy floats and marchers passing by, and when I heard the gunfire for the first time, I thought it was them saluting the flag and shooting into the open space,” Sandoval said. “But then I saw people start running, and the footage just kept going. We started running”.

He said that, during the chaos, he and his teammate Amairani Garcia ran in different directions, him with 5-year-old son Alex, her with 6-year-old daughter Melani.

Sandoval said: “I grabbed my son and tried to break into one of the local buildings, but I couldn’t. “The shooting has stopped. I guess he’s reloading. So I kept running and ran into an alley and put my son in a dump so he was safe.”

He then said he ran to find the rest of his family and saw bodies in pools of blood on the ground.

“I saw a boy who was shot being carried away,” said Sandoval. “It was just a horror.”

He found his partner and stepdaughter, safe, inside a nearby McDonald’s.

“This doesn’t happen here,” he said. “It’s not going to happen anywhere.”

Don Johnson, 76, who lives about two blocks from the scene of the shooting, at first thought the gunshots were the jet of a car. He said he ran with several others to a nearby BP gas station and described the scene as “surreal”.

“It was just a terrible thing,” he said. “I never thought this would happen in Highland Park downtown.”

Johnson said his daughter lives in Chicago with her son and he is urging them to move to Highland Park, telling her recently, “It’s safe.”

Now, he says, it’s clear that “it can happen anywhere.”

David Goldenberg, Midwest regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, was among those present at the parade. He went early to arrange seats for his family along the parade route. He said he moved their chairs to be closer to friends.

If it weren’t for that, Goldenberg said, “We were very close” to the shooting.

“It was chaotic,” he said. “Things that you hear about – those tick-in-the-middle moments that affect everyone in your family when everyone is screaming, ‘There’s a shooter! There are guns! ‘”

He said he knew of an adult who had been killed, though he declined to discuss details.

Governor JB Pritzker urged “all Illinoisans to pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed this morning in Highland Park, for those who have lost loved ones, and for those injured.

“There are no words for the kind of monster that lays in wait and rushes into the crowd of families with children celebrating with their community. There are no words for the kind of crime that robs our neighbours of our neighbours’ hopes, dreams, futures.

“We must – and we will – end this gun violence.”

Responding to the Highland Park shooting, President Joe Biden said in a written statement: “Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again afflicted the American community with grief at this time in the American community. This Independence Day.”

Highland Park shooting news prompted other suburbs to cancel their 4th of July celebration.

Sisters Christina Sendick, 20, and Angela Sendick, 22, showed up late to the parade, as people ran, some screaming, others bleeding. They grew up near Waukesha, Wis., where someone drove a sport utility vehicle into a crowd at the Christmas parade last November, killing six people and injuring 62 others.

Angela Sendick said: “It’s crazy that no one can figure out how to stop all this.

Former Obama White House Adviser David Alexrod tweeted whom someone he knew was at the parade, wrote: “A friend took his children to the 4th of July Parade in Highland Park today. His son has special needs. As the shots rang out, they ran for their lives, the father pushing his adult son’s wheelchair — at one point falling over. On America’s Day, What Has Become an American Sick Story”.

Contributors: Zack Miller, Frank Main, Sophie Sherry, Mitch Armentrout

This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.

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