At least six people were killed and 24 others injured when multiple shots were fired along the July 4th parade route in north suburban Highland Park on Monday morning local time in Illinois.
The Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, erupted in panic when shots were fired about 10 minutes after the parade kicked off, according to media reports.
As per US media, an active shooter has been spotted in Highland Park. The suspect is described as a white male in the age 18-20 years, according to the Lake County sheriff's office.
A video on Twitter was shot by one of the bystanders.
At least 25 shots were fired at an Illinois Fourth of July parade; a reporter saw five people bloodied.
"As parade-goers fled the parade route in Highland Park, they left behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets," tweeted Shannon Watts, Founder of "Moms Demand Action".
The shooter was reported to still be active just after 11 am (local time), US media reported.
Sources said the person could be shooting from atop a high building. The parade route was near Central Avenue and Second Street.
The parade was stopped about 10 minutes after it kicked off at 10 am when shots were fired, striking an unknown number of parade-goers and sending hundreds of people running for safety.
A Chicago Sun-Times reporter saw blankets covering three bloodied bodies and five other people wounded and bloodied near the parade's reviewing stand. Several witnesses said they heard multiple shots fired. One witness said he counted more than 20 shots.
Some of the injured were taken to Highland Park hospital for treatment.
The police were telling people, "Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here."
As they fled the parade route, parade-goers left behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets as they sought cover, not knowing just what happened.
The police were patrolling the area with rifles. The parade had a heavy presence of police and fire vehicles.
The city of Highland Park provided very little information on the incident in a Facebook post just before 10:45 am, only saying that the city's Fourth Fest had been cancelled.
Illinois State Police were on the scene as well. They called the incident an "active shoot situation" just before 11:25 am.
Earlier, Illinois witnessed a series of shooting incidents in which at least 37 people were injured and 7 killed in gun shootings, local media reported.
This is a new string of horrific shootings that took place in the United States where the latest is the killing of a 30-year-old man who was shot dead on Saturday morning (local time) in Chicago, Illinois.
The shooting incident took place in the 9000 block of Escanaba at about 12:19 am when the victim was shot in the head by an unknown person, the police said. The victim was taken to an area hospital however he was pronounced dead. No one was in custody as of Saturday afternoon.
With increasing incidents of gun violence in the United States, President Joe Biden had said that the US needs to ban assault weapons for the sake of protecting children and families or raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.
Furthermore, on June 22, a group of US lawmakers reached a much-awaited deal on a bipartisan gun safety bill after recent mass shooting incidents in Uvalde, Buffalo and Texas, that struck a nerve in the country.
The new bill aims to take firearms away from dangerous people and provide billions of dollars in new mental health funding.
The bill does not ban assault-style rifles or significantly expand background-check requirements for gun purchases, but it gives states more resources to take guns away from dangerous individuals.