According to authorities, the shooter appears to have fired “a high-powered rifle” from a rooftop. “This does not happen here,” a witness who fled to safety with his family remarked. “This should never happen anywhere.”
Authorities reported the incident occurred at 10:14 a.m. in the area of Central Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Highland Park during the city’s Fourth of July parade.
Highland Park police characterized the gunman, who has yet to be identified and whose location is unknown, as a Caucasian man between the ages of 18 and 20, with a tiny physique and “longer” black hair. According to Highland Park Police Cmdr. Chris O’Neill, he is wearing a white or blue T-shirt.
“We’re requesting that everyone stay indoors,” Lake County Sheriff Sgt. Christopher Covelli stated. “Right now, stay alert. This individual has not been identified. By all accounts, everything appears to be absolutely random at this stage.”
According to Covelli, the attacker fired a high-powered rifle into the parade from a rooftop. He stated that authorities are working to find the individual.
“All indications are that he was discrete and difficult to spot,” Covelli said.
Several gunshots could be heard in distinct social media footage, followed by a break and another round of gunfire. More than 50 gunfire may be heard in certain videos.
Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander on the scene, advised residents to remain indoors as authorities searched for the offender.
The July 4th shooting was just the latest to upend American traditions. In recent months, schools, churches, grocery stores, and now neighbourhood parades have all become killing grounds. This time, the bloodshed occurred as the country sought a reason to commemorate its founding and the links that continue to bind it together.
“On a day when we gathered together to celebrate community and freedom, we are instead mourning the awful loss of life and suffering with the tragedy that was forced upon us,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering.
The incident happened along the parade route, where many locals had staked out great viewing spots early in the day for the annual event. However, dozens of bullets were fired, sending hundreds of paradegoers fleeing, some of whom were visibly bloodied. They left a trail of abandoned goods that demonstrated how quickly and violently normal life was disrupted: A half-empty bag of potato chips; a box of chocolate cookies dropped on the grass; and a child’s Chicago Cubs cap.