Six people are dead and dozens injured following a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday morning, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and numerous local reports.
The sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies remain on the scene in search for the suspect, whom the sheriff’s office described as a white male between 18 and 20 years old. During a press conference hours after the shooting, Christopher Covelli of the Lake County sheriff’s office called the crime “very random, very intentional, very sad day.”
Covelli said the gunman used a “high-powered rifle” as he fired from a rooftop.
Authorities said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 a.m. central time in downtown Highland Park during the city’s Fourth of July parade.
In a statement Monday afternoon, President Biden tied the shooting to an “epidemic of gun violence.”
He said he and first lady Jill Biden are “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief” to Americans on Independence Day. He said he has spoken to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park mayor Nancy Rotering, offering federal support to their communities. The President said he increased federal law enforcement to assist in the search for the suspect at large, and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Illinois officials quickly responded to the shooting, expressing their condolences for the lives lost in the tragedy.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on all of the state’s residents to “pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed” in Highland Park.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Pritzker said. “There are no words for the kind the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures.”
Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) also condemned the attack in Highland Park.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is offering its support to Highland Park.