WASHINGTON, July 4, 2022 (AFP) – A shooter opened fire along the path of an Independence Day parade in the US state of Illinois on Monday, officials said.
“The Illinois State Police is currently assisting Highland Park PD with an active shoot situation that occurred at the Highland Park Parade,” the Midwestern state’s police force tweeted.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, which is responsible for the area that includes Highland Park, the city near Chicago where the shooting took place, also said it was assisting with “a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.”
We are 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. pic.twitter.com/PTut6CGZAe
— Lake County Sheriff (@LakeCoILSheriff) July 4, 2022
The sheriff’s office did not say whether the parade had reached that point on the route when the shots started, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the shooting began about 10 minutes after the parade did.
Highland Park announced that all July 4 festivities had been canceled as a result. Authorities did not say how many people had been shot, but local media outlets reported there were nine victims.
US Representative Brad Schneider, who was at the event, said on Twitter that “a shooter struck in Highland Park during the Independence Day parade.”
“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,” he wrote, adding: “Enough is enough!”
Firearms cause approximately 40,000 deaths a year in the United States, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
The debate over gun control — a deeply divisive issue in the country — was reignited by two massacres in May that saw 10 Black supermarket shoppers gunned down in upstate New York and 21 people, mostly young children, slain at an elementary school in Texas.
Congress passed the first significant bill on gun safety in decades in the wake of those killings. President Joe Biden signed it into law in late June, saying that while it falls short of what is really needed, it will still save lives.
© Agence France-Presse