Highland Park July 4th Parade Shooting Was ‘Like a War Zone’, Witness Says

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Eyewitnesses described pandemic after another mass shooting At least six people were killed and 34 were injured in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park at a July 4th parade on Monday, according to reports.

“It looked like a war zone,” Paul Chesler, 75, told Fox News Digital.

Chesler and his girlfriend were watching the parade when a gunman stationed on a roof opened fire at around 10:14 p.m.

“We heard 15 or 16 rapid fire shots, which we thought were fireworks, but suddenly, like two seconds later, people started running and firing shots,” said Chesler, who has participated in the parade for nine consecutive years. “It was utter chaos. My girlfriend and I were almost crushed by dozens of people trying to get out of the way.”

Live Updates: Highland Park, Illinois Fourth of July Parade Shooting

In a still image from a video of police deployment after a barrage of gunfire on the Fourth of July parade route in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, US, on July 4, 2022.
(ABC affiliate WLS/ABC7 via Reuters)

The main parade had just begun when the shooter allegedly used a high-powered rifle to fire the crowd with bullets from a nearby terrace, highland park Police Commander Chris O’Neill told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

Police called the shooting random, and the suspect, who is still at large, appeared to be a white male, aged 18 to 20, with long dark hair and a slight build. Police said he left the weapon at the scene.

Illinois Fourth of July Parade Cause Chaos After Several People Are Shot: Report

After the crowd dispersed, Chesler, a retired Chicago teacher, headed west with his girlfriend. “Paramedics were working on at least three to four people who were shot or possibly injured while scrambling to get out of the way,” he said. “You saw people utterly horrified. People were crying.”

Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade on Monday, July 4, 2022, in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.  (AP photo/name y.huh)

Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade on Monday, July 4, 2022, in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. (AP photo/name y.huh)
(The Associated Press)

Alexander Sandoval, 39, a resident of Highland Park told Chicago Sun-Times That he got up before 7 a.m. to put lawn chairs and blankets in front of the main stage of the parade for his family.

“We saw naval marchers and floats passing by, and when I first heard gunshots, I thought they were saluting the flag and firing blanks,” he said. “But then I saw people running, and the shots kept going. We started running.”

The Illinois manhunt gets underway after the shooting of the July 4th parade in Highland Park; at least six confirmed dead

In this commotion, Sandoval and his 5-year-old son fled in one direction and his partner Amarani García and her 6-year-old daughter in the other.

Chairs abandoned after shooting at HP, IL Fourth of July parade

Chairs abandoned after shooting at HP, IL Fourth of July parade
(Getty Images)

“I grabbed my son and tried to break into one of the local buildings, but I couldn’t,” he told the newspaper. “I kept running and ran down an alley and put my son in the dustbin so he could be safe.”

video footage People are shown rushing to safety after the attack, hastily abandoning baby strollers, bikes and lawn chairs.

Fourth of July parade-goers run for cover after gunshots are heard in a parade on Monday morning, July 4, 2022, in a Chicago suburb.  (Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

A Fourth of July parade-goers run for cover after gunshots are heard in a parade on Monday morning, July 4, 2022, in a Chicago suburb. (Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
(Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

After the gunshots subsided, Sandoval looked for his partner and stepdaughter, and found bodies lying on the ground. “I saw a little boy who was shot,” she said. “It was just panic.”

Gina Troyani and her 5-year-old son were about to join the parade route along with their daycare class. He was riding a bike adorned with winding red and blue ribbons and his classmates were holding American flags. When the shots fired, he thought it was fireworks until someone started shouting, “Shooters!”

“We just started running,” Troyani said.

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Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison told CBS Chicago He and his family, riding in a convertible, had entered a ramp to join the parade, when they heard a popping sound that they thought was fireworks.

“All of a sudden some women started running — and then it was almost like a wave of people, and they were crying and screaming, and they said there’s an active shooter and people have been shot,” she remembered. ,[It] It was something you would see in a film.”

law enforcement agencies Looking for suspect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.