The 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, was canceled when a shooter, thought to be firing from a rooftop, began randomly shooting holiday celebrants. At least six people were killed and 24 injured after a gunman opened fire shortly before 11 a.m. CDT, the City of Highland Park Police Department Commander Chris O’Neill told reporters.
City officials report that “numerous law enforcement officers” responded to the incident and secured the downtown’s perimeter. They also confirmed there was “an active shooter incident” and advised all individuals to shelter in place while police searched for the gunman.
Cmdr. O’Neill confirmed a rifle was located but did not disclose the type or where they found the weapon.
“The suspected shooter [is] a white male between 18 to 20 years old,” reported Lake County Sheriff’s officials. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Miles Zarenski told reporters in the CNN Newsroom that he was walking toward the parade in Highland Park and heard a pop. “I was about half a block or so from the scene of the carnage. I thought [the pop] was a backfire from one of the vehicles that passed by or a firecracker. Then, there were multiple pops.” Based on his previous military experience “decades ago,” he determined the shooting was not from a handgun or rifle. It was more like an AR-15.”
The witness added: I’m guessing about 30 pops [then] there was a pause.” Zarenski said the crowd from both sides of Central Avenue started to stampede in the opposite direction. He continued “gingerly and saw blood on the sidewalk. I saw a bloody body that looked deceased.” He said a young child was being shielded by “his parents.”
I just saw it all over and was sickening. It was just chaotic. I’m not [going] to get into the politics of gun control, but if it can happen in a suburb like Highland Park, which is loving and peaceful and a Chicago suburb, not only can it happen in churches and synagogues and schools, but it can happen in any community.
Charlie De Mar tweeted: Lawn chairs and candy [were] left behind as parade spectators scrambled after hearing the gunshots.
ABC 7 Chicago added a tweet: “‘I put my son in the dumpster:’ A father who witnessed the Highland Park parade shooting hid his son while shots were fired.”
Homeland Security active shooter response team said it is vital for everyone to remain calm and follow police officers’ instructions. Stay out of sight and report suspicious behavior to local law enforcement.
Lake County officials are asking anyone in the Highland Park area to report any suspicious activity by calling 911, or police at 847-432-7730. To report any delayed information about this incident, the FBI has established a tipline at 800-CALL-FBI. https://t.co/bMCmq8AHHx pic.twitter.com/6EXvGTAXF2
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 4, 2022
The Highland Park mass shooting investigation remains under investigation. Updates will be provided as they become available.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: ‘Sickening’: Witness describes shooting at July 4th parade; YouTube Video
NBC News: At least 6 dead, 24 injured after shooting at Highland Park, Illinois, Fourth of July parade; by David K. Li and Matteo Moschella
ABC 7 Chicago News: Highland Park parade shooting: Police release description of shooting suspect