Police are responding to an incident at a July 4th parade in a Chicago suburb with a large Jewish population, authorities say, amid reports of a shooting.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the parade in Highland Park began around 10 a.m., but was suddenly halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Several witnesses tell the newspaper that they heard gunfire.
Hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets. A Klezmer band, apparently unaware of the chaos unfolding, continued to play, the paper reported.
A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies.
Police told people: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here.”
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, says she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
“People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman tells The Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
She did not hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
“I’m so freaked out,” she says. “It’s just so sad.”