A gunman opened fire early Monday morning during a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The Chicago Sun Times originally reported that six people were killed, and more than two dozen were injured. This has since been updated to seven people. Authorities say that the gunman opened fire about 10 minutes into the parade and was shooting from a rooftop. The shooter has not been caught.
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The shooting resulted in fleeing parade watchers abandoning their strollers, bicycles, and picnic supplies along the sides of the road. Other nearby July 4th parades were cancelled as a result. Injured victims were rushed to Evanston Hospital and Highland Park Hospital.
One Man Hid His Son In A Dumpster
Alexander Sandoval, 39, described picking up one of his two children, 5, while his partner grabbed their 6-year-old. They ran in different directions and Sandoval ended up stuffing his son in a dumpster so he wouldn’t get shot. Soon after, he saw another young child in a bloodied blanket being carried off and more bodies lying in pools of blood. He ended up finding his partner and 6-year-old stepdaughter later in a McDonald’s.
“This doesn’t happen here,” Sandoval said. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere.”
Mass Shooter May Have Had An Automatic Weapon
One witness reported hearing “20 to 25 shots, which were in rapid succession.” They said “it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun.”
Another witness said he initially thought the sounds was from a car backfiring. A klezmer band continued playing through the gunfire, possibly because they weren’t aware of what was happening.
Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a statement on Twitter Monday morning:
“Today, I ask all Illinoisians to pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed this morning in Highland Park, for those who have lost loved ones and for those who have been injured…”
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community… for the kind the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.
“But 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 with Illinoisians and Americans: we must — and we will — end this plague of gun violence.”
The Gun Violence Archive shows a disturbing map along with statistics of mass shootings. So far there have been over 300 mass shootings in 2022 alone, resulting in the deaths of 22,295 people. 179 of those killed were children and 670 were teens.