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At least 23 people shot at Chicago area Juneteenth celebration: police

‘Chaos, pure chaos:’ 23 shot at Willowbrook Juneteenth party

At least 23 people were shot, one fatally, early Sunday during a gathering in a suburban Chicago parking lot that drew hundreds of people to celebrate Juneteenth, authorities said.

TV news video showed the strip mall lot in Willowbrook filled with debris and police tape, about 20 miles (32.1 kilometers) southwest of Chicago. The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office described it as a “peaceful gathering” to celebrate Juneteenth that suddenly turned violent as a number of people fired multiple shots into the crowd.

We know of 22 victims injured and one victim killed by gunfire. Several other victims were also injured while attempting to flee the area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. Authorities didn’t immediately release the conditions of those injured.

A motive for the attack wasn’t immediately known, and no one was arrested by early afternoon. Sheriff’s spokesman Robert Carroll said authorities were interviewing “persons of interest” in the shooting, the Daily Herald reported.

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Juneteenth celebration shooting in Willowbrook, Ill. (WBBM)

Police were at the strip mall before the shooting to monitor the gathering, but were called away because of a nearby fight, the sheriff’s office said. “They heard gunshots and immediately returned to the scene,” the sheriff’s office said.

“We transported numerous victims from the scene. Others just walked into area hospitals,” said Eric Swanson, deputy chief at the sheriff’s office.

Rick Wagner, who lives nearby, said there were at least 300 people in the lot by 10:30 p.m. “We’ve had multiple conversations with police” about large groups meeting there, Wagner told the Daily Herald.

A witness, Markeshia Avery, said it was a Juneteenth celebration. Monday is the federal holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down until they stopped,” Avery told WLS-TV.

Another witness, Craig Lotcie, said: “Everybody ran, and it was chaos.”

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement that he was monitoring the investigation.

“Gathering for a holiday gathering should be a joyful occasion, not a time where gunfire erupts and families are forced to run for safety,” Pritzker said.

The White House released a statement Sunday afternoon, saying that the “President and First Lady are thinking of those killed and injured in the shooting in Illinois last night. We have reached out to offer assistance to state and local leaders in the wake of this tragedy at a community Juneteenth celebration.” source


At least 23 people were injured, one fatally, when gunfire erupted early Sunday at a Juneteenth celebration in suburban Chicago, authorities said.

The shooting unfolded about 12:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a strip mall in Willowbrook, about 23 miles west of Chicago, according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.

PHOTO: Investigators look over the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill., June 18, 2023.
Investigators look over the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill., June 18, 2023.
Matt Marton/AP

The gunfire erupted during a large gathering of several hundred people to commemorate Juneteenth, Battalion Chief Joe Ostrander with the Tri-State Fire Protection District told ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

Victims were taken to multiple area hospital with gunshot wounds, according to the sheriff’s office. One person was pronounced dead and at least two were in critical condition, Deputy Chief Eric Swanson of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference.

PHOTO: Investigators talk with a person at the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill, June. 18, 2023.
Investigators talk with a person at the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill, June. 18, 2023.
Matt Marton/AP

No arrests have been announced.

A motive for the shooting is under investigation.

PHOTO: Investigators look over the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill., June 18, 2023.
Investigators look over the scene of an overnight mass shooting at a strip mall in Willowbrook, Ill., June 18, 2023.
Matt Marton/AP

Sheriff’s deputies had been monitoring the annual Juneteenth celebration when they responded to a 911 call of a fight breaking out nearby, the sheriff’s department said. While deputies were investigating the report of the fight, they heard gunshots and immediately returned to the Juneteenth celebration, authorities said.

“An unknown number of suspects fired multiple rounds from multiple weapons into the crowd,” police said in a statement.

In addition to those shot, several victims were treated at area hospitals for injuries they suffered attempting to flee the area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives were combing through security video and witness cellphone video Sunday afternoon in hopes of identifying suspects, authorities said.

“It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration; we just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down until they stopped. They just kept going. After that, we literally scattered away,” witness Markeshia Avery told WLS-TV. source


‘Chaos, pure chaos:’ 23 shot at Willowbrook Juneteenth party

One person was killed in the shooting at a holiday gathering in a parking lot in an unincorporated area outside the southwest suburb, officials said. No one is in custody.

Police investigate in a strip mall parking lot where more than a dozen people wounded in a shooting in Willowbrook on June 18, 2023.
Police say a parking lot where a Juneteenth party was being held Saturday in southwest suburban Willowbrook turned into a crime scene when gunshots were fired early Sunday. One person was killed and at least 22 wounded.

David Struett/Sun-Times

A Juneteenth weekend gathering in a Willowbrook strip mall parking lot was becoming a yearly tradition among residents of the Hinsdale Lake Terrace apartments.

Barbecue chicken, a card table, plastic cups for drinking. Even DuPage County sheriff’s deputies stopped by the festivities as the party moved into the early hours of Sunday morning.

But the gathering turned violent as gunfire broke out in the crowd of several hundred people, killing one person and wounding 22 others, according to the sheriff’s office.

In a matter of seconds, shots flew across the parking lot near Route 83 and Honeysuckle Rose Lane.

“It was chaotic. Chaos, pure chaos,” said Nayetta Reed, 43, who was in the crowd but was unhurt.

Sheriff’s deputies in the area heard the gunfire just before 12:30 a.m. and responded, the sheriff’s office said.

The wounds ranged from grazes to serious injuries, Joe Ostrander, battalion chief of the Tri-State Fire Protection District, told reporters earlier in the day. He said two people were in critical condition.

Some of the victims were taken to hospitals in DuPage, Will and Cook counties, authorities said. Several got to hospitals on their own.

It was unclear what prompted the shooting or how many people were being sought. No one was in custody. Authorities did not disclose the age or conditions of the victims.

Before the shooting, there were two separate fights between teenage girls, Reed said. Sheriff’s deputies had intervened as well, witnesses told the Sun-Times. But Reed and other witnesses believed the shooting was unrelated to the previous fights.

Police investigate in a strip mall parking lot where more than a dozen people wounded in a shooting in Willowbrook on June 18, 2023.
A witness said between 200 and 300 people were gathered in a Willowbrook parking lot to celebrate Juneteenth when at least 100 shots were fired.

David Struett/Sun-Times

Several witnesses told the Sun-Times the gunfire came from the far south side of the lot, away from where people were gathering in front of BCD Liquors and Five Star Pantry.

Reed said she heard at least 100 shots in 10 or 15 seconds.

Residents of the nearby apartment complex had held similar Juneteenth parties in the same lot over the last two years, Reed said. It had always been peaceful, she said.

This year, though, the crowd size had become “excessive,” Reed said, estimating that there were between 200 and 300 people.

“Since Juneteenth has come about, we’ve been celebrating. And usually the sheriffs are out here with us. It’s very controlled, it’s peaceful,” Reed said. “I don’t know what happened. I really don’t know what happened last night. It just went left.

“We’ll probably never do another one,” she said.

Later Sunday morning, residents of the apartments looked over police tape as investigators placed dozens of evidence markers throughout the parking lot strewn with cups, shoes and a turned-over trash can.

Witnesses said they think the number of people shot is higher than officially reported. Some people with minor wounds have avoided going to the hospital, Reed said.

One man Sunday said he was shot in his lower leg and had gone to a hospital but left after waiting several hours to be seen by a doctor. He asked not to be named.

David Barnes, 25, said he ran from the crowd when the shooting started. The lot was filled with parked cars.

He said he noticed a lot of new people in the celebration, which had typically been attended by longtime residents of the nearby apartments.

“That’s how it had been. Everybody knew each other. That’s how it should’ve been,” he said. The party had started around 4 p.m., with grilling, Barnes said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he was closely monitoring the investigation into the shooting.

“Gathering for a holiday celebration should be a joyful occasion, not a time where gunfire erupts and families are forced to run for safety,” Pritzker said in a statement. He said gun violence is a public health emergency and that he remained committed to banning “dangerous weapons.”

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten said he was heartbroken by the shooting.

“We live in a tragic reality where you cannot go to school, go to the grocery store, go to your place of worship, or celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Juneteenth without fear of being shot,” Casten said in a statement.

Sunday’s shooting is among at least 310 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Almost a year ago, a mass shooting in north suburban Highland Park killed seven people and wounded nearly 50 others.

Police asked anyone with information about what happened to call (630) 407-2400.

source


Juneteenth holiday horror: Four people are shot dead and at least 42 others injured so far this weekend as gun violence erupts across the nation – from Illinois to Missouri

  • At least 20 people were shot, one fatally, during a Juneteenth celebration early Sunday morning in Willowbrook, Illinois
  • The gunfire erupted during an illegal street takeover attended by at least 300 people overnight outside of the Willowbrook shopping center  
  • At least five people were killed and dozens injured in several other shootings across the country during the holiday weekend

    Five people were killed and at least 42 were injured in multiple shootings as violence erupted across the country over the holiday weekend.

    A shooting at a Juneteenth celebration in a suburban Illinois town left one person dead after at least 20 people were shot outside a shopping center overnight.

    It happened around 12:30 a.m. on Route 83 near Honeysuckle Lane in Willowbrook, Illinois, Battalion Chief Joe Ostrander with the Tri-State Fire Protection District told us.

Witnesses said the massive crowd of more than 300 people had gathered for a Juneteenth celebration that turned violent.

In an update later on Sunday morning, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office said at least 20 people had been shot, one fatally. At least one person is in critical condition, while the others suffered ‘graze wounds.’

‘It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration; we just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down until they stopped,’ witness Markeshia Avery said. ‘They just kept going. After that, we literally scattered away.’

Emergency services responded to the shooting outside the Willowbrook shopping center in Illinois after gunfire erupted during an illegal street takeover attended by at least 300 people overnight.

A massive police presence remained on the scene at 5:30 a.m. and are investigating. No arrests have been made and no further information has been released.

The sheriff’s office has asked that anyone with information call 630-407-2400.

The shooting in Illinois was just one of several overnight acts of violence on this holiday weekend just ahead of Father’s Day and Juneteenth on Monday.

One minor was killed after at least 10 people under the age of 18 were shot in St. Louis, Missouri early Sunday morning.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the shooting happened in the area of Washington Avenue and 14th Street around 1:45 a.m., KMOV-TV reported.

Witnesses told the KMOV that the shooting took place inside a building.

One of the teens was pronounced dead at the scene. The names of the victims and the conditions of those wounded in the shooting were not immediately available.

Two dead, three injured in shooting near Washington state music festival; suspected gunman arrested

Two people were killed and three were injured in a shooting near a Washington state campground area hosting people attending a nearby music festival Saturday night, police said.

The Grant Count Sheriff’s Office received a report of a shooting shortly before 8:30 p.m. at the camping area near the small city of George, 149 miles east of Seattle. Officers pursued the suspect, who was then taken into custody.

The names and conditions of the victims were not immediately available.

Organizers of the Beyond Wonderland electronic music festival said on social media that Sunday’s events at the Gorge Amphitheatre were canceled.

The shooting occurred on the campgrounds adjacent to the concert stages, the sheriff’s office said. Concert organizers described the location as an ‘overflow camping area.’

KREM-TV reported the shooter was among the three injured. That was according to Kyle Foreman, public information officer with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

A state trooper and a suspect were killed Saturday afternoon in a shootout in central Pennsylvania, hours after the suspect seriously wounded another trooper, state police said.

Police in Juniata County said a man engaged troopers at about 12:45 p.m. near the Lewistown barracks and shot one trooper, who was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Authorities found the man shortly before 3 p.m. in Walker Township.

The name of the trooper and the suspect who died and the name and condition of the wounded trooper were not immediately available.

Officials said Saturday evening there was no threat to the public.

Eight wounded in shooting during pool party at California home 

Eight people were injured in a shooting that unfolded during a pool part at a Southern California home on Saturday.

Police responded to the scene in Carson, south of Los Angeles shortly after midnight to find the victims ranging in ages from 16 to 24.

Five were found at the home with injuries to the head, back and upper and lower body areas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

The victims were taken to hospitals, and two were listed in critical condition.

Authorities said they received a call two minutes later after a vehicle crashed into a wall nearby. They found a 16-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound, the statement said. More than a dozen detectives are investigating, authorities said. source