At least six people were killed and 24 people wounded in a shooting at a July 4th parade in Higland Park, a suburb of the US city of Chicago, authorities said on Monday, reported DW, quoting news agencies AP, AFP and Reuters.
Police were searching for the gunman, and the city advised residents to shelter in place.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said they believe there was only one shooter and warned that he should still be considered armed and dangerous.
"Our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims during this devastating time," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said.
What we know
Shots were fired along the route only minutes after the parade to celebrate Independence Day began.
Covelli said the gunman apparently opened fire on parade-goers from a rooftop using a "high-powered rifle'' rifle that was recovered at the scene.
He said the parade was about three-quarters through when the shooter opened fire.
"Very random, very intentional and a very sad day,'' he said.
Police were searching for a white male, believed to be about 18 to 20-years-old.
Staff at NorthShore Highland Park Hospital treated 26 people, and five were transported to NorthShore Evanston Hospital, spokesperson Jim Anthony said.
"The vast majority suffered gunshot wounds. Remaining individuals sustained injuries as a result of chaos at the parade," Anthony said.
Gina Troiani and her son were ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard people yell about a shooter.
"We just start running in the opposite direction,'' she said. "There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.''
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, was on a parade float with coworkers when she saw people running from the area.
"I'm so freaked out,'' she said. "It's just so sad.''
People, some visibly bloodied, fled the scene upon hearing several loud bangs, CBS 2 television of Chicago reported, citing a producer who was at the parade.
"Hearing of loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community," US Representative Brad Schneider, whose district includes Highland Park, said on Twitter. "Enough is enough!"
Gun violence in the United States
The shooting comes with gun violence fresh on the minds of many Americans.
Last month US President Joe Biden signed the first major federal gun reform law in three decades.
US Lawmakers reached the bipartisan agreement on gun control only weeks after a gunman in Buffalo, New York, opened fire on shoppers killing 10 people in what has been called a racist shooting.
Less than two weeks later, a shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Gun-related killings in the US are higher than in most other high-income countries. In 2019, for example, 4.12 people per 100,000 were killed by guns, while only 0.5 were killed in Canada.