Highland Park July 4 mass capturing parade, 5 useless, 16 hospitalized

Six people were killed and possibly more than two dozen others injured when a gunman began shooting from a rooftop 10 minutes after Highland Park’s 4th of July parade began Monday morning, authorities said. said.

Shortly after noon, Highland Park police said it was still an “active incident” and urged people to stay away. Authorities continue to search for the shooter, and the FBI is asking anyone with video of the shooting or possible information about the shooter to call them toll-free at (800) CALL – FBI.

A reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times saw blankets covering three bloody bodies and five others wounded and bloody near the parade stand.

NorthShore University Health System said 26 people were taken to Highland Park Hospital and five to Evanston Hospital, “mostly” being treated for gunshot wounds, although some “constantly sustained injuries”. due to the chaos that followed at the parade.”

Several witnesses said they heard multiple shots fired. One witness said he counted more than 20 shots.

Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park resident, told the Sun-Times: “I heard between 20 and 25 shots, in quick succession. 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.”

The police told everyone: “Everyone disperse. It’s not safe to be here.”

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.

A participant in the 4th of July parade in Highland Park flees after being shot.

A participant in the 4th of July parade in Highland Park flees after being shot.

Police from Highland Park and several other jurisdictions, including the Illinois State Police, some armed with assault rifles, are patrolling the area, looking for who fired.

Chris Covelli of the Lake County sheriff’s office said: “It looked like he was shooting from a roof.

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.”

Governor JB Pritzker said he was “closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park” and Illinois State Police were on the scene.

The parade was crowded with police and fire engines.

Blood clots at Port Clinton Square in Highland Park.

Blood clots at Port Clinton Square in Highland Park.

This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.

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