5 dead, 19 hospitalized in shooting at Highland Park July 4 parade

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Five people were killed and 19 have been taken to the hospital after a shooting sent people running for safety during the Highland Park July 4 parade on Monday. 

Highland Park Police said they are still searching for the shooter, and are urging people in the area to shelter in place.

One witness, Shawn Cotreau, said the shooter was on the roof of a business. He said he was only 10 feet from where shooting happened. He said the gunshots went on for several minutes. 

Police and ambulances from several jurisdictions swarmed the area, with several officers carrying rifles. Video from the scene showed people being placed into ambulances. 

Several children took shelter in the basement of a nearby business after the shooting.

CBS 2 Digital Producer Elyssa Kaufman was near the scene when she heard what sounded like gunfire. She and her family got on the ground and quickly ran to their car in a nearby parking garage. 

“Everyone was was running, hiding and screaming,” she said. “It was extremely terrifying. It was very scary. We are very fortunate, we got out very quickly.”

First responders from the Lake County Sheriff rush to a parade route after reports of a shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. (CBS)

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Video posted on TikTok showed the Highland Park High School band running after shots were fired.

Maya Spector was preparing to march at the parade with her daughter.  “We literally ran home,” she said. “People were running and just trying to get out of the area.”

“My daughter was panicked and traumatized.”

Caught on Video: Shooting starts at Highland Park July 4th Parade


Some witnesses reported up to 20 shots. 

Highland Park’s Mayor Nancy Rotering said the rest of the July 4 festival has been canceled. 

Neighboring Deerfield also canceled its events “due to a shooting in Highland Park.” Evanston has also canceled its parade. 

The shooting happened in the 600 block of Central Avenue around 10 a.m. Gov. JB Pritzker said up to nine people had been shot. 

Witnesses posted similar accounts of sounds similar to gunfire and people running. 

Another witness took photos of chairs left behind after people fled. 

Illinois State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) said she was at the parade with her family, and had just decorated the car she was riding in for the parade, when they heard the gunfire.

“We heard, I heard pops. Honestly, I initially thought it was fireworks. It never occurred to me that in downtown Highland Park, on the 4th of July, there would be gunshots, but all of a sudden, a couple women started running back towards us, and then it was almost like a wave of people, and they were crying, and screaming. They said there’s an active shooter, and people have been shot. We all just kind of froze in our tracks. It was hard to even believe,” she said.

In a statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.”

“I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance. We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community. Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody. If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know,” she added.

This is a developing story.

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