- BBC News World
At least 6 people were killed and more than 30 were injured in a mass shooting during a US Independence Day parade north of the city of Chicago.
The incident occurred in the town of Highland Park, Illinoiswhere the 4th of July holiday turned into a scene of panic and chaos when gunshots were heard.
Police said a suspect named Robert Crimoa 22-year-old white man who had fled after the shooting.
Authorities reported that there are at least 6 deceased. Another 24 injured people were taken by emergency services to hospitals, while some more arrived on their own.
The Mexican consul Reyna Torres reported the death of a national and that two others were injured.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that among the victims of today’s shooting in Highland Park is a Mexican person,” he said on Twitter.
“There are two hospitalized people of Mexican origin. We continue to be in contact with authorities and hospitals to assist the victims,” he added.
President Joe Biden said he and his wife were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again brought pain to an American community on this Independence Day.”
the suspect opened fire on the parade around 10:15 local time (15:15 GMT), just a few minutes after the event started.
The parade featured floats, marching bands and performances as part of the city’s Independence Day celebrations. Hundreds of people enjoyed the event from the sidewalks.
The suspect is believed to have shot attendees from the roof of a camping supply store, using what police described as a rifle of High power.
According to authorities, he had climbed onto the roof via an unsecured ladder, through the back of the building in an alley.
Officers secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park and recovered “evidence of a firearm,” according to local police.
Investigators say they don’t initially believe more than one attacker was involved.
“On a day when we come together to celebrate community and freedom, we mourn the tragic loss of life,” said the city’s mayor, Nancy Rotering.
Witnesses at the scene described the terrifying moment when they heard multiple gunshots in quick succession.
Anand, who said he was less than 100 meters from the site of the attack, told the BBC he initially thought he heard a car making noises with its exhaust before seeing others running.
Then he realized that there wasshots “with the kind of gun that releases a lot of bullets in a very short time“.
“It was incredibly loud. Then total silence,” he said.
Gun violence is very rare in this suburban area, he noted: “I felt so safe here and it’s very surreal. We’re holed up in a shelter now to keep us safe, there are people crying. It’s not a good feeling at all.” .
A woman who was nearby said she saw several of the victims.
“I saw someone on the ground with a little girl crying next to them. To my left, my mom and I saw at least three other people on the ground,” she said.
Highland Park’s mayor said the celebration had been canceled and asked people to avoid downtown.
The shooting comes just a month after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 students and two teachers died, and a week after the US Congress passed the first legislation in decades supported by Democrats and Republicans on Firearms.
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