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Illinois police are looking for a White male suspect with black hair and a slim build after a gunman attacked an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, a wealthy suburb of Chicago, according to authorities. Investigators believe he is around 19 years old.
Police have recovered a rifle but said the unidentified gunman is still considered armed and dangerous.
He killed at least six people and wounded about two dozen more from a rooftop perch before fleeing, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Chris Covelli said during an afternoon news briefing.
Gunfire broke out at the intersection of Central Avenue and 2nd Street in Highland Park around 10:24 a.m. CT Monday, according to authorities. The gunman remained at large as of 2 p.m., and police said he had not barricaded himself anywhere or taken hostages to their knowledge.
HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS, FOURTH OF JULY PARADE SHOOTING
Covelli said the suspect used “a high-powered rifle” but declined to give a detailed description of the weapon. The attack began near the last leg of the parade route, he said, and targeted spectators along the sidelines.
He added that the attack marked a “very random, very intentional and a very sad day.”
State police and Chicago officers raced to the scene to assist Highland Park Police in the investigation, and so did deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The FBI is also assisting, authorities said, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was working on tracing the weapon used in the attack.
ILLINOIS MANHUNT UNDERWAY AFTER 4TH OF JULY PARADE SHOOTING IN HIGHLAND PARK; AT LEAST SIX CONFIRMED DEAD
Officials are asking residents to avoid the area as they continue to hunt for the suspect.
“All we know right now is that he’s not in custody, and he’s not deceased,” said Mike Verden, a local resident, the founder and CEO of The Lake Forest Group security consulting firm and a former Secret Service agent, police officer, and senior director of security for the NBA. “Sometimes these guys get away… Some want to do suicide by cop, some kill themselves, and some just don’t want to get caught.”
Verden lives just four miles from the parade route and said he could hear police responding after the attack from his home. Like other area residents, he said he was sheltering in place as police conducted a large-scale search for the suspect.
“The biggest thing right now is that this person is not in custody,” he said. “Usually in these types of incidents, they die at the scene…This is kind of unique.”
He said it’s normal for authorities to assume the suspect is still armed after recovering a weapon because active shooters typically carry more than one firearm.
ILLINOIS FOURTH OF JULY PARADE ERUPTS INTO CHAOS AFTER MULTIPLE PEOPLE SHOT: REPORT
The parade began around 10 a.m. at the intersection of Laurel and St. Johns Avenues, less than a mile from the scene of the shooting at Central Avenue and 2nd Street.
A celebration called Fourth Fest was supposed to follow the parade at 11 a.m., located at Sunset Park. Authorities canceled the event.
Anyone with video surveillance, phone video, still images, is asked to contact investigators. Business owners in the area asked to review security cameras and share with police, Covelli said, “even if you don’t see anything in there.”
Phone video posted to social media that appears to have been taken at the scene captured the sound of more than 30 gunshots booming out over the parade as spectators fled in a panic.
This is a breaking news story. Check back with Fox News Digital for updates.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News