Highland Park shooting update: Child critically inured, seven dead are adults


AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

A woman wipes tears after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Monday, July 4, 2022.

EDITOR’S NOTE: At the time of this reporting, the official death toll was six but has since changed to seven from the July 4 shooting.

In a press conference led by Commander Chris O’Neill and Christopher Covelli, Deputy Chief of Lake County, one of the injured victims of the Fourth of July shootings was a critically injured child. 

As of 4:10 p.m. CST, the tally reported by Highland Park Police is 24 injured and six dead. Police say 24 injured victims have been transferred to nearby hospitals, but are being told additional victims have driven themselves to hospitals for care.

Five of the dead victims were identified at the Highland Park hospital and one has been taken to a different local hospital. All of the deceased victims have been identified as adults. 

 One of the deceased victims is Nicolas Toledo, an older Highland Park resident. 

“We are all feeling pretty numb,” his granddaughter told CBS Chicago. “We’re all pretty broken inside.”

10 of the injured people were brought to the Highland Park hospital, seven people were transported to Evanston hospital, six people were transported to Lake Forest hospital and one was a walk-in to a local hospital.

In response to the shooting, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted out a message about the situation and his disappointment in the gunman.

“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” said the governor’s tweet.

Covelli said the gunman was using a semi-automatic high-powered rifle, but that is all the information on the weapon the police are revealing for now.

The gunman accessed the rooftop he shot from by utilizing a ladder that was attached to the back of the building that was unsupervised and easily accessible, according to Covelli.

SWAT team members are currently searching construction sites to look for the gunman. They are also clearing out buildings to safely escort people sheltering out of businesses they are sheltering in.

A little boy was found in the aftermath of the mass shooting. The authorities in the suburbs of Chicago are currently attempting to determine the identity of the boy’s parents or guardians.

A photo is being circulated throughout several social media platforms. The boy is estimated to be about 2 years old.

The person who initially uploaded the photo, Dane Ruder, said the boy was given to her by an unknown person during the parade and that he is currently in the care of her family.

Ruder claimed the boy is too young to know his parents’ names and hasn’t revealed his own name to her.

Ruder said anyone who knows the boy is urged to call 847-612-7358.

After much information was made available on Twitter and through news organizations, President Joe Biden tweeted out a response to the situation. 

“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” Biden said. “As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities. I also surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries.”

Covelli said people who have video footage, photos or further information on the gunman or the suspect, should contact the FBI with the number 1800-call-FBI.

The next press conference to give updates on the situation will be at 4:15 p.m CST.