5 dead, 16 hospitalized in mass shooting at Highland Park July 4 parade, shooter wanted

Five people were killed and 16 others injured when a gunman began firing 10 minutes into the July 4 parade in Highland Park on Monday morning, authorities said.

Shortly after midday, Highland Park Police said it was still an “active incident” and urged people to stay away.

A Chicago Sun-Times reporter saw blankets covering three bloodied bodies and five other injured and bloodied people near the parade stand.

Several witnesses said they heard several gunshots. A witness said he counted more than 20 shots.

Miles Zaremski, a resident of Highland Park, told the Sun-Times: “I heard 20 to 25 gunshots, in quick succession. So it couldn’t just be a handgun or a shotgun.

Zaremski said he saw “people in that area who got shot,” including “a woman covered in blood. . . She did not survive. »

The police were telling people, “Everyone disperse, please. It’s not safe to be here.

As they fled the parade route on Central Street in downtown Highland Park, panicked onlookers left behind chairs, strollers and blankets as they sought shelter, without know exactly what had happened. Even as people ran, a klezmer band, apparently unaware of the gunfire, continued to play.

Police officers from Highland Park and several other jurisdictions, including the Illinois State Police, some armed with rifles, were patrolling the area, looking for whoever had fired.

Adrienne Drell, a former Sun-Times reporter, said she was sitting on a sidewalk along Central Avenue watching the parade when she saw members of the Highland Park High School marching band start running .

“Go to Sunset,” Drell said as he heard the students shout, directing people to nearby Sunset Foods.

A man picked her up from the sidewalk and urged her to get out, Drell said.

“It’s panic all over the city,” she said. “Everyone is just stunned beyond belief.”

She ran to a nearby parking lot with others who had watched the parade.

“It was a quiet, peaceful, lovely morning, people were enjoying the parade,” Drell said. “In seconds, to see that peace suddenly ripped apart, it’s frightening. You can’t go anywhere, you can’t find peace. I think we are collapsing.

Terrified spectators fled the 4th of July parade from Highland Park after shots were fired, leaving their belongings behind as they sought safety.

Eric Trotter, 37, who lives a few blocks from the shooting, echoed that sentiment.

“I felt shocked,” Trotter said. “How could this happen in a peaceful community like Highland Park.”

As police cars zoomed past Central Avenue, sirens blaring, Alexander Sandoval, 39, sat down on a bench and cried. He had risen before 7 a.m. to set up lawn chairs and a blanket in front of the parade’s main stage. He lives within walking distance of there, so he went home to have breakfast with his son, partner and daughter-in-law before returning for the parade.

Hours later, he said he and his family ran after hearing the gunshots, fearing for their lives.

“We saw the walkers and the Navy tank go by, and when I first heard the shots I thought they were the ones saluting the flag and firing blanks,” he said. said Sandoval. “But then I saw people start running and the shooting continued. We started running.

He said that in the chaos he and his partner ran in different directions, he with his son, she with her daughter.

“I grabbed my son and tried to break into one of the local buildings, but couldn’t,” Sandoval said. “The filming stopped. I guess he was reloading. So I kept running and ran down an alley and put my son in a dumpster for safety.

Then he said he ran to look for the rest of his family and saw bodies in pools of blood on the floor.

“I saw a little boy who was shot being taken away,” Sandoval said. “It was just terror.”

He was reunited with his partner and daughter-in-law, safely at a nearby McDonald’s.

“That doesn’t happen here,” he said. “That shouldn’t happen anywhere.”

Gov. JB Pritzker said he was “closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park” and Illinois State Police were on the scene.

The parade had a strong presence of police and firefighters.

Blood pooled in Port Clinton Square in Highland Park.

Blood pooled in Port Clinton Square in Highland Park.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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