A manhunt is underway for the shooter who killed at least six people this morning at the Highland Park, Ill., Fourth of July parade.
Highland Park Police Department Patrol Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander on the scene, told reporters that the mass shooting began at 10:14 a.m.
The shooter fled the scene and police described him as a white male about 18-20 years old with “longer black hair,” a small build, and a white or blue T-shirt. A “high-powered” rifle was recovered at scene.
“Individuals are still urged to shelter in place at this time,” O’Neill said.
At least 31 people were injured in the mass shooting. O’Neill urged any with photographic or video evidence from the parade or area around the time of the shooting to contact police.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief and Public Information Officer Chris Covelli confirmed that the shooter has not been identified and said the attack “appears to be completely random.”
Covelli said it “does appear” that the assailant was shooting from a roof, and there is believed to be only one shooter involved. There is “no indication he’s barricaded or holding any hostages” despite social media reports.
Investigators are “working quickly” to try figure out who the shooter is and where he is. “We would still consider him to be armed and dangerous,” Covelli said.
A witness told CNN that about 50 rounds were heard as gunfire erupted during the parade. Covelli said it appeared that spectators were targeted.
The FBI is working with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force on a “very methodical processing of the scene,” Covelli said. He said at a later press conference that the shooter stopped firing as law enforcement approached.
“Our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said, noting that the city has received an outpouring of support and offers of resources. “We will avail ourselves of everything that is offered to us immediately.”
With the shooting still an active situation, Rotering advised residents to “be on high alert but remain calm.”
Asked whether fireworks events would be safe tonight, Covelli replied that was for individual communities to assess on their own. “Could this happen again? We don’t know what his intentions are at this point,” he said at a later press conference.
“Due to a tragic mass shooting that took place earlier this morning in Highland Park, the City of Evanston will be canceling this year’s 4th of July Parade and celebrations effective immediately,” the city said in a press release this afternoon. “While there is no known threat to Evanston residents, the shooter is still at large; therefore, cancelations are taking place in an abundance of caution.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors to the north,” the city of Evanston added.
“Out of respect for the victims of the shooting in Highland Park earlier today, and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our community, tonight’s fireworks at Duke Childs Field have been cancelled,” the Village of Winnetka tweeted. “Our thoughts are with our friends and neighbors in Highland Park.”
This story is developing