Mass Shooting at Illinois Juneteenth Celebration: 1 Dead, 22 Injured

During a Juneteenth celebration in Illinois early on Sunday morning, gunshots erupted, leaving one person dead and at least 22 others injured. At 12:30 a.m., a gunman opened fire on a large group of young people who had gathered in a parking lot near Route 83 in the suburban community of Willowbrook, located about 20 miles west of Chicago.

Around that moment, police in the vicinity were diverted to another incident that had allegedly occurred nearby. According to a press release from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office, they returned to the gathering after hearing gunfire.

The sheriff claims that many individuals fired into the crowd with multiple firearms. More than 200 kids and young adults were there, and witnesses told CBS Chicago on Sunday that they heard 20 to 30 gunshots during the gathering.

Before the incident, witnesses and law enforcement officers reported a pleasant Juneteenth celebration. “I got kids to come back home to. I’m not used to this,” one woman who witnessed the shooting said to CBS Chicago. “I wasn’t expecting it, but you just never know. Anything can happen anywhere.”

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Another witness recalled hearing numerous gunshots. “Anything could’ve happened. It was a lot of people out, we were all having a good time but, you know,” he told the news station.

The sheriff’s office reported that other people were hurt trying to escape the scene of the shooting, in addition to the participants who were shot. Multiple local hospitals are treating victims. At the time of the sheriff’s announcement, their conditions were unclear.

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No one has been named as a suspect, and authorities haven’t released any information about the victims or the shooting’s suspected purpose.

Sheriff’s detectives are currently conducting interviews with victims and witnesses, as well as checking cell phone records and surveillance footage. The administration announced that the area and businesses around the shooting scene would be closed indefinitely.

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