In a disturbing turn of events early Sunday, a parking lot gathering of hundreds ended in a shooting. The gunfire left one person dead and at least 22 others injured in Willowbrook, Illinois.
News footage from the scene showed a strip mall parking lot, the location of the incident. It was covered in debris and cordoned off with police tape.
The event had started as a peaceful assembly in honor of Juneteenth. However, the serenity was shattered when several individuals began firing shots into the crowd.
In the aftermath of the incident, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement noting that 22 people were injured by gunfire and one person lost their life. Other attendees were hurt while trying to escape the chaotic scene.
At the time of the shooting, police officers were present to oversee the gathering, but they had temporarily left the scene to attend to a nearby altercation. Hearing the gunshots, they quickly returned to the parking lot.
The underlying cause of the attack remains unclear as of Sunday afternoon, and no arrests had been made at that time. Deputy Chief Eric Swanson of the Sheriff’s Office reported that several injured individuals had been transported from the scene while others had made their way to local hospitals.
Rick Wagner, a resident living close to the strip mall, estimated that there were at least 300 people in the lot around 10:30 p.m. He noted previous events of large gatherings in the same location.
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