One person is dead and at least 22 others were injured when a mass shooting broke out at a Juneteenth celebration in Willowbrook, Illinois early Sunday (June 18) morning.
An unknown number of suspects fired multiple rounds from multiple weapons into the large crowd of people gathered to celebrate Juneteenth, according to a statement from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.
Several other victims were injured in the chaos as people attempted to flee the area, and victims are being treated at hospitals in the area, the sheriff’s office said.
No suspects are in custody, police said.
The shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. in a parking lot in Willowbrook, about 21 miles west of Chicago.
A large group of people gathered for the celebration from around 6 p.m. on Saturday, and police were at the site to monitor the event, the sheriff’s office said.
The officers were called away around 12:25 a.m. to respond to a 911 call reporting a fight nearby.
“As deputies responded, they heard gunshots and immediately returned to the scene of the gathering,” the sheriff’s office said.
Witnesses said the parking lot was still filled with people when the sound of gunshots rang out and the scene turned chaotic. Some people started running.
Markeshia Avery, who was there at the time of the shooting, said she dropped to the ground.
“We dropped down. We dropped down until they stopped. They just kept going,” Avery told reporters at the scene. “After that, we literally scattered away and just started trying to check on everybody that we knew.”
Some of the injured were transported to hospitals by ambulance and others walked in, DuPage County Deputy Sheriff Eric Swanson told reporters Sunday.
At least 12 ambulances responded to the scene, Ostrander, battalion chief of the Tri-State Fire Protection District said.
Ten patients were transported to four hospitals with injuries ranging from graze wounds to more serious gunshot wounds, and two people were in critical condition, Joe Ostrander, battalion chief of the Tri-State Fire Protection District said earlier.
The motive behind the shooting is unclear and it is still an active investigation, Swanson said.
It joins a growing list of celebrations interrupted by gunfire, like the graduation ceremony in Virginia, the NBA championship celebration in Colorado and the birthday party in California, all in the last month.
The incident is now one of 310 mass shootings in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.