Five people were killed and multiple wounded as shots were fired along the route of an Independence Day parade in US' Illinois on Monday, officials said.
A video of the incident was shared on social media where people can be seen fleeing in panic as they hear the gunshots.
Here's the video of the incident:
The moment the crowd realized there had been mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, at their fourth of July parade. Unfortunately there's nothing more American than this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/beXt9uYP3F
— Read Wobblies and Zapatistas (@JoshuaPotash) July 4, 2022
Chicago Sun-Times reported that their reporter saw blankets covering three bloodied bodies and five other people wounded and bloodied near the parade’s reviewing stand.
The shooting happened "in the area of the Independence Day parade route," the Lake County Sheriff's Office said in statement.
We are assisting Highland Park Police with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route. STAY OUT OF THE AREA - allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work. pic.twitter.com/PTut6CGZAe
— Lake County Sheriff (@LakeCoILSheriff) July 4, 2022
"The Illinois State Police is currently assisting Highland Park PD with an active shoot situation that occurred at the Highland Park Parade," the Midwestern state's police force tweeted.
According to a report by AFP, the Lake County Sheriff's Office, which is responsible for the area that includes Highland Park, the city near Chicago where the shooting took place, also said it was assisting with "a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route."
The sheriff's office did not say whether the parade had reached that point on the route when the shots started, but the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the shooting began about 10 minutes after the parade did.
Highland Park announced that all 4 July festivities had been canceled as a result. Authorities did not say how many people had been shot, but local media outlets reported there were nine victims, AFP reported.
US Representative Brad Schneider, who was at the event, said on Twitter that "a shooter struck in Highland Park during the Independence Day 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," he wrote, adding: "Enough is enough!"
According to AFP, firearms cause approximately 40,000 deaths a year in the United States, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
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.
Congress passed the first significant bill on gun safety in decades in the wake of those killings. President Joe Biden signed it into law in late June, saying that while it falls short of what is really needed, it will still save lives, AFP reported.
With inputs from agencies