Police launched a massive manhunt on Monday for a rooftop gunman who killed at least six people and injured another 24 during a parade on July 4th in an affluent Chicago suburb, authorities said.
A high-powered gun has been found and police are looking for a gunman, described as a white man between the ages of 18 and 20 with long black hair, who opened fire at about 10:14 a.m. CDT, Highland Park Police Chief Chris O. Neill told reporters.
Police do not believe the gunman holed up nearby and should be considered armed and dangerous, officials said.
The City of Highland Park confirmed there is “an active shooting incident” and urged all “individuals to take shelter in place”.
Police were seen scouring roofs around Central Avenue near Green Bay Road and Second Street in the wake of gunfire.
“Looks like he was shooting from a rooftop,” Lake County Sheriff’s deputy chief Christopher Covelli told reporters.
In the wake of Monday’s shooting, discarded camping chairs, backpacks and other items lay along the parade route, left behind by local residents who had come to celebrate the Fourth of July before fleeing for their lives.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering thanked police officers for their prompt response.
“Our community has been terrorized by an act of violence that has shocked us to the core,” she said.
Illinois State Police also responded to the scene, “assisting the Highland Park PD with an active shooting situation,” according to a statement. statement the agency tweeted†
Chicago Police Department sent a helicopter and other agents in the manhunt, officials said.
July 4th Events in Other Chicago Suburbs – EvanstonDeerfield and Skokie – were called off in the wake of the Highland Park shooting.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker was at that scheduled Evanston event when the Highland Park shooting happened.
“There are no words for the kind of monster that is lurking and firing on a crowd of families and children vacationing with their community,” Pritzker said. said in a statement†
“I will stand firm on the people of Illinois and the Americans: We must – and we will – end this scourge of gun violence.”
US Representative Brad Schneider was at the Highland Park event when shots were fired.
“My campaign team and I gathered at the beginning of the parade as filming began,” said the… legislator said in a statement† “My team and I are safe and secure.”
Witness Larry Bloom said people at first thought the popping sound was part of the parade.
“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop’ and I think everyone thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats and then it just opened up,” he shared. NBC Chicago†
“I was screaming and people were screaming,” Bloom added. “They panicked and they just spread out and I, you know, we didn’t know. You know, it was right above us.”
Monday’s gunfire marked the third major mass shooting in the US since May.
Ten black people were killed in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 when a white gunman allegedly motivated by racial hatred opened fire on Tops Friendly Market.
Less than two weeks after the Buffalo massacre, 19 children and two teachers were gunned down at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, about 80 miles west of San Antonio.
Those shootings forced Congress to pass legislation aimed at gun control, and President Joe Biden signed that bill on June 25.
The bill, the most sweeping legislation aimed at preventing gun violence in 30 years, provides grants to states for “red flag” laws, improves background checks to include juvenile files and closes the “friend in the law” by keeping guns away of unmarried dating partners convicted of abuse. It also requires improved background checks for people ages 18 to 21 and funding for youth mental health services.
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