WILLOWBROOK, Pain (WLS) — At least 20 people were shot, one dead, in the southwestern suburb of Willowbrook early Sunday, fire officials said.
Battalion Chief Joe Ostrander of the Tri-State Fire Protection District said the shooting occurred around 12:30 p.m. on Route 83 near Honeysuckle Rose Lane. A large group gathered in a mall parking lot for a Juneteenth celebration that turned violent, witnesses said.
Fire officials said at least 10 people were shot.
An official with the DuPage County Sheriff's Office said early Sunday that 20 had been shot, one fatal.
“It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration; we just heard gunshots, so we went down until they stopped. They kept going. After that, we completely dispersed,” said witness Markeshia Avery.
Two of those shot were in critical condition, while the other suffered what fire officials called “grazing wounds”.
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“We all just came out, and then you know the shooting kept going; everyone was running, and there was chaos,” said another witness.
The victims were taken to a hospital in DuPage, Cook and Will counties.
“I saw that they put police in all the entrances like that; I just came back home. Now they have closed all the places,” said witness Kyria.
A massive police presence remained at the scene to investigate around 9am, and debris was seen covering the ground after the incident.
“We just heard gunshots; at first it was just one, then we heard a lot of gunshots. After that we started running like, ‘yo.' I saw my friend, and we ran, ran like crazy,” said witness Zaviar Sheikh.
The sheriff's office is asking anyone with information to call 630-407-2400.
US Representative Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, said in a statement:
“I am saddened to see the news from Willowbrook this morning. We live in a tragic reality where you can't go to school, go to the grocery store, go to a place of worship, or celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Juneteenth. without fear of being shot. Change is needed – we are can't let this become the status quo.
“I thank the first responders who attended for the victims last night and will continue to work with local authorities to stay informed of the current situation.”