At least nine people have been shot at a July 4th parade in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, by an unidentified attacker who opened fire on crowds and marching bands from the roof of a main-street store and is now at-large.
Videos and photos from the scene show blood on the sidewalk and motionless bodies scattered on the parade route. Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynn Sweet was at the parade when gunfire rang out.
She has since shared photos and videos from the event which show people lying on the ground, and has described it as a ‘bloodbath’.
Since then, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has confirmed that nine people were injured.
The shooter remains at large with a frantic manhunt now underway. Witnesses told local radio station WGN that they opened fire from the roof of a local store. No description has yet emerged.
Videos show the moment people watching the parade started running for their lives while a band, unaware of the unfolding horror, carried on towards them.
‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood. It is sickening,’ witness Miles Zaremski told CNN.
‘If this can happen here in our suburb it can happen anywhere,’ he added, a reference to the quiet suburb’s low-crime.
The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am
The scene at Highland Park on Monday after the July 4th Parade emptied out amid reports of gunshots. Police have not yet confirmed that anyone was shot
Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots
The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past
Highland Park Police has not yet commented on the incident but Lake County Sheriff’s Office is responding to the incident.
Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area
Sweet tweeted: ‘Bloodbath at #Highland Park July 4th parade.. I was there’.
Miles Zaremski, who was at the parade, told CNN: ‘It was sickening. If this can happen here it can happen anywhere.
‘To see these people in blood on the ground… how many are dead. I don’t know.
‘Not only were police vehicles there that lead off the parade, after it occurred, there were police there.
‘Paramedic vehicles were also part of the parade…. just to hear the pop, pop, pop.
‘I have never seen this and I’d hope no American would ever see this.’
‘I saw 12 to 24 injuries… I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’
In an article on The Chicago Sun Times website, she wrote: ‘Multiple people were shot. A reporter saw five people bloodied. A blanket was covering one person.’
The City of Highland Park said in a Facebook announcement: ‘Highland Park Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park.
‘Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park.’
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
‘People started saying `There´s a shooter, there´s a shooter, there a shooter”‘ Glickman told the Associated Press.
‘So we just ran. We just ran. It´s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out,” she said. She said she did not see anyone injured.
Highland Park is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs; Michael Jordan owns a mansion in the area, and it is also where enormous mansion featured in Home Alone is.