UPDATE: Police now say six people are dead and at least two dozens were shot.
At least five people are dead and many others injured after a gunman opened fire on a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
“I saw this guy shooting. I saw his eyes… the first round was maybe 40-50 shots,” one eyewitness told television station WGN. “He stopped and must have reloaded. I realized this was real and got everyone down as flat as we could.”
Witnesses say the shooter was on the roof of Uncle Dan’s and fired into parade, the television station reported. Watch video of the attack:
A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies. Other people, running, were visibly bloodied. Police told people: “Everybody disburse, please. It is not safe to be here.”
“My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park. State police are on the scene and we have made all state resources available to the community,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker in a statement.
Video just sent to me from Highland Park shooting. This scares the shit out of me. pic.twitter.com/E6eKP9spjh— Michael Marino (@MichaelMarino37) July 4, 2022
BREAKING: Police have issued the following description of a shooter who is wearing an army-style yellow backpack.— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) July 4, 2022
The shooter opened fire on the crowd from the rooftop of a nearby building, killing at least 4 people at the Illinois Highland Park 4th of July Parade. pic.twitter.com/M2QUhkf9Ky
The gunman remains on the run and nearby towns have already cancelled Independence Day festivities. There are also reports of beaches shutting down in the area.
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, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“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.”
Larry Bloom, who was at the parade when shots began, told NBC News at first spectators thought the “popping” sound was part of the parade.
“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and I think everybody kinda thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats and then it just opened up,” Bloom said. “I was screaming and people were screaming. They were panicking and and they were just scattering and I, you know, we didn’t know. You know, it was right on top of us.”
Watch video of the attack below.