By KATHLEEN FOODY
CHICAGO (AP) — Police are responding to an incident at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb, authorities said Monday, amid reports of a shooting.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m. but was suddenly halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Several witnesses told the newspaper that they heard gunfire.
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.”
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
“People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.”
The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact Highland Park Police. The Police Department said no one was immediately available to discuss the incident.
City leaders said on Twitter that “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.