Refresh for updates throughout… Five of the six casualties in the Highland Park parade shooting were adults and died at the scene, city officials said during a press briefing at 3:30 p.m. Chicago time. A sixth person was pronounced dead at a hospital; information on that victim was not disclosed.
A fire department official said at least one of the more than two-dozen injured in the shooting transported to a hospital was a child.
Police officials said that “significant progress” is being made in the investigation into the shooter, with a “very active apprehension effort” in place. The suspect was not in custody at the time of the briefing.
Earlier this afternoon, President Joe Biden has released the following statement in response to the Highland Park shooting:
Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities. I also urged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries.
I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives. But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also issued a statement saying, in part, that “grief will not bring the victims back, and prayers alone will not put a stop to the terror of rampant gun violence in our country. I will stand firm will Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end this plague of gun violence”
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) July 4, 2022
A Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., outside Chicago, has left six people dead and multiple injuries, according to officials. At least 24 people have been hospitalized with serious injuries.
Police are still searching for the gunman, according to city officials. Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting “appears to be completely random” Law enforcement officials are urging people downtown to shelter in place.
At a press conference just before 1 p.m. Chicago time, Covelli described the suspected shooter as a white male, 18-20 years old, longer black hair, small build, wearing a white or blue t-shirt.
A rifle was retrieved at the scene, but the suspect should still be considered armed and dangerous. Covelli described the weapon as a “high-powered rifle.”
Police are asking parade spectators to review their cellphones for video and photos that might provide clues and to contact police with the information. Covelli said the FBI is assisting in the investigation and search for the suspect.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering,“On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we’re instead mourning the loss, the tragic loss, of life, and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us,”
Officials said there is no indication that the shooter, who apparently fired from a nearby roof, is barricaded in the immediate area.
A message on the city’s official Facebook page says, “SHELTER IN PLACE. Highland Park Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. All 4th of July events have been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. Take shelter if in downtown HP. “
Shots began firing within 10 minutes after the parade commenced at 10 a.m. CT today. As of this report, the shooter remains at large.
Nearby towns including Deerfield, Ill. have canceled their own official Fourth of July activities.
“I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families,” tweeted actor Rachel Brosnahan. “I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out, but I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words.”
My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park. State police are on the scene and we have made all state resources available to the community. We will continue working with local officials to help those affected.
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) July 4, 2022
While there is no known threat to Evanston residents, the shooter is still at large; and cancelations are taking place in an abundance of caution. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our neighbors to the the north.
— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) July 4, 2022
I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families. I’m sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out, but I don’t wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words. https://t.co/5dE7JB8Z17
— Rachel Brosnahan (@RachelBros) July 4, 2022