Chicago: Police are responding to a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb. Officials gave this information on Monday. Officials have not officially reported any casualties, but eyewitnesses said the blood-soaked bodies were covered with blankets.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m., but abruptly stopped after 10 minutes of shots fired. Several eyewitnesses told the newspaper that they heard gunshots.
Hundreds of parade-goers – some apparently covered in blood – fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.
A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets on three blood-soaked bodies.
The police told the people: “Everyone disperse, please. It’s not safe to live here.”
The video, shot after a Sun-Times reporter was shot, shows the band playing on the float and people running around screaming. A photo posted on social media shows pools of blood near upholstered chairs in downtown highland park,
Gina Troyani and her son were lined up with their daycare class ready to walk the parade route when they heard a loud sound which they believed was fireworks—until people shouted about a shooter. Not heard.
“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told the Associated Press.
Her 5-year-old son was riding his bike adorned with red and blue winding ribbons. He and the other kids in the group had small American flags. The city said on its website that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade.
Troyani said he pushed his son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to his car.
In the video Troyani shot on his phone, some children are startled by a loud noise and then scuffle on the side of the road as sirens sound nearby.
“It was just kind of chaos,” she said. “There were people who were separated from their families, looking for them. Others simply abandoned their wagons, grabbed their children and started running.”
Highland Park resident Debbie Glickman said she was on a parade float with colleagues and the group was preparing to head to the main street when she saw people running through the area.
“People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like massive chaos out there.”
He didn’t hear any noise or see anyone who was injured.
“I’m so nervous,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police “with shootings in the area of the Independence Day parade route.” The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact Highland Park Police. The police department said no one was immediately available to discuss the incident.
City leaders said on Twitter that “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. Fourth Fest has been cancelled. Please avoid Downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”