HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Reuters) -Five people were killed and several more were injured in a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday, officials said, as panicked spectators fled the scene.
The city of Highland Park reported on its website that five people were dead and 16 transferred to hospital.
“Numerous law enforcement officers are responding and have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park,” the statement said.
The shooting comes with gun violence fresh on the minds of many Americans, after a massacre on May 24 killed 19 school children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the May 14 attack that killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
Witness Amarani Garcia, who was at the parade with her young daughter, told the local ABC affiliate she heard gunfire nearby, then a pause for what she suspected was reloading, and then more shots again.
There were “people screaming and running. It was just really traumatizing,” Garcia said. “I was very terrified. I hid with my daughter actually in a little store. It just makes me feel like we’re not safe anymore.”
Witnesses said they believed the shooter was on the roof of a store and fired into the crowd, WGN television reported.
Social media video showed a marching band in the parade suddenly breaking formation and running away, and a Chicago Sun-Times columnist posted a picture of a pool of blood at the foot of a bench.
People fled the scene upon hearing several loud bangs, CBS 2 television of Chicago reported, citing a producer who was at the parade.
“Everyone was running, hiding and screaming,” the channel’s website reported CBS 2 Digital Producer Elyssa Kaufman saying.
Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien, Chris Gallagher and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Mary Milliken and Bill Berkrot