Oak Park officials have announced that the annual Fourth of July fireworks display that was scheduled to take place at dusk in the Oak Park and River Forest High School football stadium has been canceled following the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park Monday afternoon.
In a statement published to the village’s website, officials explained that the cancellation is a “response to the tragic mass shooting that took place earlier today in Highland Park.”
Officials added that while “there is no known threat to Oak Park residents, the shooter is still at large and the decision was made to cancel the fireworks display out of an abundance of caution and deference to the victims.”
The shooting at Highland Park, which is about 25 minutes north of Chicago, happened roughly 10 minutes after the city’s Fourth of July parade started Monday morning, law enforcement authorities said.
According to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times, at least six people were killed and 26 taken to area hospitals for injuries, with “vast majority” being treated for gunshot wounds, though some “sustained injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos at the parade.”
Authorities suspect that the gunmen — described by witnesses as a white male between 18 and 20 years old with a slight build, lengthy black hair and wearing a white or blue t-shirt — acted alone.
The gunman is still at large. The Illinois State Police is helping local police officers conduct a search for the suspect. Highland Park city officials are urging people to avoid the area.
“The Village of Oak Park extends its deepest condolences to the victims of the shooting and the Highland Park community,” Oak Park village officials said in their online statement.
Oak Park joins a growing list of municipalities and organizations that have canceled their Fourth of July events in response to the Highland Park shooting. They include Arlington Heights, Wilmette, Elk Grove and Waukegan, among others.
In addition, the Chicago White Sox announced that they will play a scheduled Monday night game against the Minnesota Twins, but will cancel the post-game fireworks display and will hold a moment of silence in deference to the victims of the Highland Park shooting.