CHICAGO, IL – Police in Chicago responded to what some news outlets described as a “mass shooting” that occurred along the parade route of the Highland Park 4th of July parade, causing paradegoers to flee in fear as shots rang out.
Local reports note that the gunfire erupted minutes after when the parade had started at 10:00 a.m., with sources alleging that a person “could be shooting from atop a high building.”
Few details on the number of injured have been revealed. However, a local report from the Chicago Sun-Times claimed to have seen “blankets covering three bloodied bodies and five other people wounded and bloodied near the parade’s reviewing stand.”
Democrat Rep. Brad Schneider issued a brief statement regarding the incident, namely due to he and his campaign team have been at the time assembling at the start of the parade when the shooting started.
“My team and I are safe and secure. Hearing of loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer. Enough is enough!”
Officials in Highland Park are urging the public to remain clear of the area while obviously announcing that the 4th of July celebrations slated in the area have since been canceled.
The neighboring village of Deerfield also acknowledged the shooting in Highland Park, announcing that their planned 4th of July events have been canceled in the interest of public safety.
Additionally, the village of Skokie fell in line, too, issuing a statement that read, “Out of an abundance of caution, today’s Skokie Fourth of July Parade has been canceled due to the shooting incident at the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade. The Skokie community grieves with our neighbors in Highland Park. A decision will be made later today regarding tonight’s fireworks at Niles West High School.”
Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a brief statement on the shooting, stating, “My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park. State police are on the scene, and we have made all state resources available to the community. We will continue working with local officials to help those affected.”
It’s unclear whether authorities have apprehended or identified a suspect or suspects involved in the shooting, with local reports noting police were seen patrolling the area of the incident armed with rifles, ostensibly searching for whoever was responsible.
Video captured during the incident shows parade participants and spectators heard and reacted to the gunfire, resulting in crowds of people fleeing the area.
Authorities are expected to provide additional details at a press conference later in the day.