Willowbrook, Illinois, shooting: 23 shot, 1 dead, at Juneteenth celebration

At least one person was killed and 22 others wounded in a shooting just after midnight Sunday in a strip mall parking lot in Willowbrook, southwest of Chicago, authorities said.

Deputies with the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office heard gunshots around 12:30 a.m. and “responded to an area with a large crowd,” Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Eric Swanson said at a news conference Sunday.

He said some victims took themselves to hospitals, while others were transported by emergency medical personnel. He declined to provide the ages and conditions of the victims.

Chief Swanson said the motive for the shooting was unclear. It is also unclear what type of firearms were used. No suspects are in custody.

Juneteenth is the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States. It has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s and became a federal holiday in 2021.

The celebration in Willowbrook began around 6 p.m. Saturday near an apartment complex, the sheriff’s office said in a statement Sunday afternoon. It is unclear whether the event was organized or sanctioned by nearby businesses.

Some police officers were monitoring the incident when they received a call about a fight around 12:25 am. The officers were on their way to the fight after hearing the gunshots.

“An unknown number of suspects fired multiple rounds from multiple weapons into the crowd,” the report said.

The sheriff’s office said 22 people were injured and one was killed in the shooting. Many others were injured as they tried to flee.

The shooting happened in the parking lot of a strip mall on Route 83 near Honeysuckle Rose Lane. Businesses in the area will remain closed until further notice, the sheriff’s office said.

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Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood treated four victims, hospital spokeswoman Carol Eggers said.

Two people were brought there from other hospitals, including one patient who was still hospitalized and one who had been discharged on Sunday afternoon. Two other patients who were taken to the hospital were released.

Twanda Carroll, a 51-year-old hairstylist and resident of the Hinsdale Lake Terrace Apartments north of the shopping center, returned to Willowbrook Sunday morning after staying with relatives in Wisconsin.

Two bullets entered her apartment, one breaking her living room window and the other her bedroom window. The first bullet went through her clock on the back wall, the second through her closet and into the kitchen wall.

He said he was in Wisconsin for his mother’s birthday and his daughter joined him from Arkansas. Ms Carroll had planned to come home on Saturday night but decided against it to spend more time with her family.

Ms Carroll said it was a “miracle” to be away from the flat during filming.

She asked, wiping tears from her eyes: “What if? What if we were there? Either my grandchildren or me and my girl.

Emma Bubola and Charles Thrush contributed reporting.

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