A gunman opened fire at a National Day parade in a suburb of Chicago, killing at least six people and injuring 24 others. The shooter has not yet been caught, authorities said.

A gunman opened fire at a US National Day parade in a suburb of Chicago, killing at least six people. A police spokesman said 24 people were taken to hospitals after the crime in Highland Park, Illinois. “We are assisting the Highland Park Police Department after shots were fired during the pageant,” the state police said on Twitter. The shooter was initially not caught. A weapon was found at the crime scene. The background to the crime was initially unknown.

The authorities canceled the Independence Day festival, and the population was asked to avoid the city center.

Shots near Chicago: people flee

Brad Schneider, who represents the state of Illinois in the House of Representatives, was in the Lake Michigan city when the shots rang out. “My team and I had just met at the beginning of the parade when the shots were fired,” Schneider said on Twitter after he had fled to safety.

It was not immediately known who fired the shots at the parade in Highland Park. TV pictures showed people fleeing.

The mayor of Highland Park urged people to stay away from downtown.

Eyewitness: “It was heartbreaking”

An eyewitness named Miles Zaremski told CNN that he saw several injured and lifeless people lying on the ground. “It was heartbreaking.” Zaremski said he heard around 30 pops. People fled the parade. The United States celebrated its Independence Day on Monday.

The US has long struggled with massive levels of gun violence. At the end of May, an 18-year-old gunman massacred a Texas elementary school. He had killed 19 children and 2 teachers in the small town of Uvalde at the end of May before he was shot dead by the police. The bloody deed had rekindled the discussion about stricter gun laws in the USA. Firearms are relatively easy to obtain in the United States.