At least six people, including children, were dead and several others were seriously injured after a gunman opened fire at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday. A video by an apparent witness shows people fleeing the sound of gunfire. In another video, blood is seen on the sidewalk and dead bodies are sprawled throughout the parade route.
According to reports, at least 25 rounds have been fired and the suspect is believed to be a male with a large yellow backpack. The shooter is still at large, and a desperate manhunt is still going on. Illinois Representative Bob Morgan tweeted that there were numerous injuries at the parade while he was there.
Independence Day Horror
The Highland Park Fourth of July parade was the scene of gunfire just 10 minutes after the celebrations began on Monday morning at 10 am, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. The shooting was still "active" as of 11:30 am local time, according to Illinois State Police. Witnesses told local radio station WGN that shots were fired from a store's roof. As of now, no information on the suspect has surfaced.
According to witnesses, crowds fled as they heard shooting, while others observed at least five bloodied victims laying on the ground and another person covered in a blanket. One of the videos captured the horrifying moment parade spectators began to flee for their lives as a band marched right by them without realizing what was happening.
"I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood. It is sickening," witness Miles Zaremski told CNN.
"If this can happen here in our suburb it can happen anywhere," he added, a reference to the quiet suburb's low-crime.
Miles Zaremski, who was also attending the celebrations, told CNN: "It was sickening. If this can happen here it can happen anywhere. To see these people in blood on the ground... how many are dead. I don't know."
"Not only were police vehicles there that lead off the parade, after it occurred, there were police there. Paramedic vehicles were also part of the parade.... just to hear the pop, pop, pop."
"I have never seen this and I'd hope no American would ever see this."
The Chicago Sun Times reported that witnesses saw one person covered in a blanket and at least five victims laying in bloody pools on the ground.
Highland Park's local law enforcement agency, the Lake County Sheriff's Office, acknowledged that a shooting had taken place and advised locals to avoid the area. The number of victims was not confirmed by the sheriff's office, though.
Suspect Still at Large
Lake County Sheriff's Office tweeted that it was assisting Highland Park Police with a shooting along the parade route.
"The Illinois State Police is currently assisting Highland Park PD with an active shoot situation that occurred at the Highland Park Parade," the agency said.
"The public is advised to avoid the area of Central Ave and 2nd St. in Highland Park."
Locals who had come minutes before to take part in the fun, family-friendly Fourth of July celebrations had to run for cover as the gunman opened fire.
The city of Highland Park posted on its Facebook page that all events scheduled for 4th of July celebrations had been postponed while police responded to an "incident" in the neighborhood.
(This is a developing story)