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Six people are killed and 24 injured at Highland Park parade shooting

Witnesses have described watching in horror while children were shot in the head by a gunman at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, an affluent suburb of Chicago, on Monday. 

The shooter – who remains at large – is said to have opened fire from the roof of what was an outdoor outfitting store, picking off people in the crowd who at first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks. 

He is described as being between 18 and 20 years old, of ‘slight build’ with long black hair. He is wearing a white or a blue t-shirt and used what sounds like a semiautomatic rifle in the attack that he abandoned before fleeing. 

Police do not yet know the gunman’s identity and they are now trying to trace the weapon they found back to its owner in the hopes it will lead them to him. 

The shooting began less than 15 minutes after the start of the parade. Witnesses have now told how they saw children being picked off in the crowd. 

‘All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back, probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed. I saw her die. I’ve never seen anything like this,’ a woman, who gave her name only as Zoe, told CNN. 

Police say they recovered a ‘rifle’ at the scene but witnesses described multiple rounds being fired in quick succession which they say could only have come from a semi-automatic. 

‘A rifle? No, no. It was an automatic weapon. It was pop, pop, pop, rifles don’t do that,’ she said. 

The Governor of Illinois was among the first to call for an end to gun violence while other Democrats – who have been relentlessly demanding gun reform since the Uvalde school shooting on May 24 – invoked irony to make renew their calls for change.

‘The fact that no place in the USA is safe from gun terror means no place is truly free. Heartbroken for Highland Park,’ Katherine Clark, Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House, tweeted. 

 

Horror on Independence Day: A police officer bows his head in grief next to abandoned strollers and chairs after a shooting that killed six people in Highland Park, Illinois 

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

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

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 

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees  

The parade had only begun 14 minutes before the gunman opened fire from a rooftop along the route. The shooting caused a stampede of people who flocked into stores and cars. The parade was scheduled to last for an hour

The parade had only begun 14 minutes before the gunman opened fire from a rooftop along the route. The shooting caused a stampede of people who flocked into stores and cars. The parade was scheduled to last for an hour 

Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade

Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, 04 July 2022. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, 04 July 2022. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens 

A toddler who was separated from his parents at the parade is now in the care of strangers at the local hospital. He is unharmed and seems to be in good spirits. A local chef picked him up as people ran for their lives. He took him to the hospital where he remains, waiting for family

A toddler who was separated from his parents at the parade is now in the care of strangers at the local hospital. He is unharmed and seems to be in good spirits. A local chef picked him up as people ran for their lives. He took him to the hospital where he remains, waiting for family 

President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon. 

Governor JB Pritzker said in a statement: ‘There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community.

‘There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures.

‘There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they live behind. I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end  this plague of gun violence.’ 

Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area

Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area

Zoe, the woman who witnessed a little girl being shot in the head, said the event was for children and dogs who had just passed by when the gunman opened fire. 

‘One man had been shot in the head, his ear, he was bleeding all over, and he was, like, I’m just happy that’s all happened. There was another girl that got escorted out that was shot in the leg. We were hiding in the basement for quite a while.

‘I mean, someone, 20 feet away, you know, someone — and then we went back to get our cars and we saw the streets were quite littered.

‘It looked like a battle zone and it’s disgusting.

‘It was — you know, everyone obviously remembers the Boston marathon massacre, like a happy marathon, and it’s just a happy day. It’s the Fourth of July. 

‘It was the kid’s parade and dog parade. Little kids on bicycles and pets. 

‘That’s who had just walked by,’ she said. 

Witnesses described a ‘sickening’ scene and is it feared that children are among the dead. 

‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood. 

Miles Zaremsky, a 74-year-old lawyer who has lived in Highland Park since for 60 years, told DailyMail.com: ‘I witnessed the carnage. It was nice outside weather-wise, so I took a walk twenty minutes from my house. 

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past

Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots

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

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past 

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022 

’I heard multiple shots and I thought it was firecracker… but I heard multiple shots, 30-35 pops if I had to guess.

‘The crowd started stampeding. I had ever seen that before. I saw blood on people’s bodies. 

‘Two or three people looked deceased to me[around 25 to 40 years of age]. It was absolutely disgusting and gut-wrenching and I was sick to my stomach.

 It was sickening. If this can happen here it can happen anywhere…I saw 12 to 24 injuries… I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’

’I did see a little boy [covered in blood] in his parents’ arms who looked [pale]. They were yelling for medics … It’s surreal, it’s like out of a science fiction but it is real.

‘My wife and I have been living in Highland Park since 1966. It is a beautiful, charming, peaceful, law-abiding community.

‘If it can happen here, it can happen in any community in the United States.’ 

Highland Park is an affluent, suburban city with a population of 30,000. Its residents are largely families and there is a significant Jewish population in the area, but there is no suggestion the attack was anti-Semitic. 

Among those who were participating in the parade was a Hasidic Jewish band. One jarring video showed them slowly making their way down the parade route on a float while those ahead of them – suddenly aware of the danger – ran in the opposite direction.  

Nineteen-year-old real estate student Rainan Eli, 19, saw the shooting unfold from the window of his apartment on Central Avenue and Second Street.

‘I was just sitting studying for some class I’m taking and watching the parade. I saw lots of people running and at first, everybody assumed it was fireworks being the Fourth,’ he told DailyMail.com.

Eli pulled out his cellphone and recorded heart-wrenching video of people running and seeking shelter as shots being fired could be heard in the background.

He said that two other residents of his apartment building came downstairs with him and gave the 15 to 20 people in the vestibule drinks. 

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

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

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting

Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search as they walk into a building after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search as they walk into a building after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022

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 is a shooter”‘ Glickman said. 

‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out,” she said. 

‘We can’t believe this happened in our little town.’ 

Matt Phillip, 36, director of tasting room operating at Lynfred Winery, told DailyMail.com: ‘We were open early for the parade and upon hearing what sounded like fireworks, we noticed that people started running down the street.’

‘We opened our doors so they could either seek shelter within our facility or exit through our back-alley door.’

He said thirty people sheltered inside his store. 

‘There is still a shelter-in-place order in Highland Park. 

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting

Among those missing are the parents of one of her friends, she said. 

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. 

It is among a cluster of wealthy suburbs along the North Shore next to Lake Michigan. 

The town’s Mayor, Nancy Rotering, spoke briefly at a press conference along with law enforcement on Monday to share her condolences with the families of those killed. 

None of the victims have been named and it’s unclear how old they are.  

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.

‘I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance. 

‘We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community. 

‘Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody. 

‘If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know.’ 

Unlike Chicago, which has one of the worst gun violence records in the country, violent crime in Highland Park is almost unheard of.  

The average price of a home in Highland Park was $714,000 in April 2022 and the city has a population of around 30,000. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk