Six killed in shooting at US July 4 parade

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Location of Highland Park, Illinois, where a shooter opened fire during a parade to mark US Independence Day

A gunman armed with a high-powered rifle shot dead at least six people at a parade to mark US Independence Day in a wealthy Chicago suburb on Monday — the latest in a series of shocking mass shootings, this time on a holiday celebrating all things American.

Emergency officials in Highland Park, Illinois said around two dozen people, including at least one child, had been hospitalized -– some in critical condition — and a massive police manhunt was underway for the shooter, who was still on the loose and described as a white male aged 18-20.

“Everyone thought it was fireworks,” one parade-goer, identified only as Zoe, told CNN.

As they ran, she said that some 20 feet behind her, “I saw a girl shot and killed… saw her die.”

When they were finally able to leave, she told CNN, the parade route resembled “a battle zone. And it’s disgusting.”

“It sounds like spectators were targeted… So, very random, very intentional and very sad,” said Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.

Fire chief Joe Schrage said among the wounded was at least one child, in critical condition.

“All indications is he was discreet, he was very difficult to see,” said Covelli.

“I’m not going to give up,” he said.

The shooting cast a pall over America’s most patriotic holiday, in which towns and cities across the country hold parades such as the one in Highland Park while citizens — many dressed in variations on the US flag — hold barbecues and other celebrations.

– ‘Enough is enough’ –

The debate over gun control — a deeply divisive issue in the country — was reignited by two massacres in May that saw 10 Black supermarket shoppers gunned down in upstate New York and 21 people, mostly young children, slain at an elementary school in Texas.

US Representative Brad Schneider, who was at the parade, said on Twitter that “a shooter struck in Highland Park during the Independence Day parade.” 

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Originally published as Six killed in shooting at US July 4 parade


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