(NEW YORK POST) – Five people are dead and 16 others injured in a mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday, authorities said.
Police said they are still searching for the gunman and described the ordeal as an “active shooter incident.”
A witness told WGN TV that he saw the gunman standing on the sidewalk as the gunfire erupted shortly after 10 a.m., saying “he was very military style, methodical in the way he was crouched and shooting.”
Other witnesses told the Chicago Sun Times they counted at least 20 gun shots being fired.
“I heard 20 to 25 shots, which were in rapid succession. So it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun,” local resident Miles Zaremski said.
Footage from the scene showed hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fleeing the parade route as the gunshots rang out just 10 minutes after the parade began.
Chairs, baby strollers and blankets were among the items left behind as people fled.
Witnesses described seeing multiple bloodied bodies covered in blankets on the ground immediately after the shooting erupted.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter it is assisting Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.”
“STAY OUT OF THE AREA – allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work,” the sheriff’s office tweeted.
Illinois Rep. Bob Morgan tweeted that he was at the parade and there were “multiple injuries.”
Rep. Brad Schneider, whose district includes Highland Park, said he and his team had been gathering at the start of the parade route when the shooting unfolded.
“Hearing of loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community,” Schneider tweeted. “Enough is enough!”
Debbie Glickman, a local resident, said she was on a parade float when she saw people running away from the area.
“People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman said. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
She added, “I’m so freaked out … It’s just so sad.”