Washington, Jul 4 (EFE).- At least six people died and “dozens” were wounded when a gunman opened fire on Monday during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, local police said at a press conference.
Security forces are still looking for the shooter, said to be an 18-20-year-old male, according to city authorities, who asked local residents to take refuge and stay away from the downtown area because the danger of further violence still exists.
Local police and other security forces in the city some 40 km (25 miles) from Chicago have recovered a firearm from the scene, according to police.
The shooting occurred about 10 minutes after the 10 am start of the local Independence Day parade, and people gathered along the parade route ran for cover once the gunfire erupted, as shown on videos posted by the daily Chicago Sun-Times.
“Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park,” Highland Park authorities said on Facebook, adding that “Fourth Fest has been canceled.”
Police told parade-goers: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here.”
Several government officials, including Illinois Gov. Jay Robert “J.B.” Pritzker and lawmaker Brad Schneider, both Democrats, were attending the event.
Pritzker said on Twitter that he was “closely monitoring” the situation in Highland Park.
On Twitter, Schneider said that he had received information that people had been killed and wounded, although he did not provide further details.
“My campaign team and I were gathering at the start of the parade when the shooting started,” Schneider tweeted. “My team and I are safe and secure. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
“My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer. Enough is enough!” Schneider said in his Twitter post.
Highland Park is a Chicago suburb of some 30,000, according to the 2020 census.