6 dead, more than two dozen hospitalized in mass shooting at Highland Park Fourth of July parade; shooter sought
The shooter appeared to have fired “a high-powered rifle” from a rooftop, police said. “This doesn’t happen here,” said a witness who ran to safety with his family. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere.”
Six people were killed and more than two dozen others wounded when a gunman used a high-powered rifle to fire from a rooftop on people attending the Highland Park Fourth of July parade Monday.
Authorities continued to hunt Monday afternoon for the shooter, and “the offender still has not been apprehended so far,” Christopher Covelli of the Lake County sheriff’s office and the Lake County major crimes task force said at a news conference hours after the shooting.
The gunman used “a high-powered rifle” that’s been recovered, Covelli said, and he fired from a rooftop. “He was very discreet and very difficult to see.”
He called the crime “very random, very intentional.”
It appeared that the gunman had used an “unsecured” ladder to climb to the rooftop, Covelli said.
The FBI asked that anyone who had video of the shooting or possible information about the shooter call their toll-free tipline at (800) CALL-FBI.
Investigators were focusing their manhunt around downtown Highland Park in an area bounded by Green Bay Road, Laurel Avenue, St. John’s Avenue and Elm Place, according to Highland Park police Cmdr. Chris O’Neill. People outside that area no longer were being asked to shelter in place.
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Covelli said drones and dogs were being used in an effort to track down the suspect and that the ownership history of the rifle is being examined by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said five people were dead at the scene, all adults, and another died at a hospital. It wasn’t clear how old the sixth victim was.
All of the victims have been identified, though authorities still were notifying families as of 3:30 p.m.
Fire officials said they took 23 people to hospitals, including a child who was critically injured, and that other victims showed up at hospitals on their own.
Dozens of the injured were taken to Highland Park Hospital, Lake Forest Hospital and Evanston Hospital. The “vast majority” were treated for gunshot wounds, though some “sustained injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos at the parade,” according to NorthShore University Health Systems, which owns the Highland Park and Evanston hospitals.
One witness said he counted more than 20 shots.
Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park resident, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “I heard 20 to 25 shots, which were in rapid succession. So it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun.”
Zaremski said he saw “people in that area that got shot,” including “a woman covered with blood . . . She did not survive.”
As they fled the parade route on Central Street in downtown Highland Park, panicked parade-goers left behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets as they sought cover, not knowing just what happened. Even as people ran, a klezmer band, seemingly unaware of the gunfire, continued to play.