Multiple people reportedly were shot Monday morning, at least one fatally, about 10 minutes into the northern suburb’s Fourth of July parade, according to witnesses and published reports.

According to the Highland Park police Facebook page, authorities were responding to a situation in downtown Highland Park, in Lake County. The post did not specifically reference the shooting but said Fourth Fest had been canceled and asked people to “please avoid downtown Highland Park.” The Lake County Sheriff’s office also was responding and asked people to stay out of the area.

Congressman Brad Schneider and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering have told reporters they believe at least one person was fatally shot.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who had been attending the parade in Hyde Park, is reported to have said nine people were shot during the parade. Pritzker then left the Hyde Park parade, according to sources who were there. According to a post on his Twitter, Pritzker and his staff were “closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park.”

Illinois State Police also were responding, Pritzker said, adding: “We will continue working with local officials to help those affected.” Roads were blocked for approximately one mile surrounding the shooting scene.

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Peter Kotonis of Highland Park was driving to the parade to meet his family and was approaching the parade route when he saw hundreds of people running.

“It was chaotic. At that point I started calling my family to try to find them and eventually found out they had sheltered inside a building near the route,” Kotonis said. “And so I met up with some of my friends, we picked up some people we knew, because we wanted to make sure they had a ride, and we got out of there.”

Video from the scene showed the chaos that unfolded in the peaceful north shore suburb. Parents sat on the curb of the parade route enjoying the marching band when the musicians suddenly started running, the instruments they had carefully worked to master held in front of them as they ran for their lives. Soon, officials announced there had been a shooting, with multiple people wounded, shattering the sense of peace and solidarity on America’s Independence Day.

Metra halted inbound and outbound train movement near Highland Park due to the shooting. Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider said he was at the parade with his campaign team when the shooting started.

“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; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer,” Schneider tweeted. “Enough is enough!

According to a post on the Village of Deerfield’s page, the municipality canceled its parade and celebration as a result of the shooting in Highland Park.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.





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