Shooting reported at Fourth of July parade near Chicago

Hundreds of parade-goers – some visibly bloody – fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, strollers and blankets.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Officials said at least five people were dead and 16 hospitalized after a shooting at a July 4 parade in suburban Chicago.

“Law enforcement agencies are looking for the suspect; Evidence of a firearm was seized,” Highland Park officials said in a statement. Officials said this was an “active incident” and urged people in the area to seek shelter at the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing bloodied bodies, apparently covered with blankets. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade started around 10 a.m. but was suddenly stopped 10 minutes later after gunshots were fired. Several witnesses told the newspaper they heard gunshots.

Hundreds of parade-goers – some visibly bloody – fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, strollers and blankets.

A Sun Times reporter saw blankets being placed over three bloodied bodies.

The police told people: “Everyone please pay out. It’s not safe to be here.”

Video shot dead by a Sun Times journalist after the shots were fired shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run screaming by. A photo posted to social media appeared to show pools of blood near upturned chairs in downtown Highland Park.

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a float with colleagues and the group was ready to turn onto the main route when she saw people from the area running away.

“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just walked. We just walked. It’s like mass chaos down there.”

She didn’t hear any sounds or see anyone who appeared to be hurt.

“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Twitter that the police are “working hard to take the shooter into custody”.

“The tragedy that is unfolding in Highland Park is devastating,” wrote Lightfoot. “We mourn with the families of those who died and were injured, and with the entire Highland Park community.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that it was supporting the Highland Park Police Department “in a shooting near the Independence Day parade route.”

The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact the Highland Park Police Department. Police said no one was immediately available to discuss the incident.

City leaders said on Twitter: “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. The fourth festival was cancelled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”

The city said on its website that the parade would include floats, marching bands, novelty groups, community posts and other special entertainment. A children’s bike and pet parade was also scheduled to start 30 minutes before the main parade.

Highland Park is about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago. Shooting reported at Fourth of July parade near Chicago

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