At least six people are dead and 19 were taken to hospitals after a shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb, police said.
The shooting in Highland Park disrupted the annual parade just after it began at 10 a.m.
Highland Park Police said in a statement that five people were killed and 19 people were taken to hospitals. It was unclear if the five dead were among the 19 hospitalized.
The police said authorities are still searching for the suspect and called it an active incident.
Hundreds of parade-goers, some visibly bloodied, fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.
A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies.
Police told people: “Everybody disburse, please. It is not safe to be here.”
Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunfire rang out shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run past, screaming. A photo posted to social media appeared to show pools of blood near upturned chairs in downtown Highland Park.
Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed were fireworks — until hearing people yell about a shooter.
“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press.
Her son, 5, was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city said on it’s website that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade.
Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car.
In a video that Troiani shot on her phone, some of the kids are visibly startled at the loud noise and then scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.
It was just sort of chaos,” she said. “There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.”