Willowbrook, Illinois, mass shooting: 1 dead, 20 hurt at Juneteenth celebration


At least 20 people were injured and one person has died in a shooting overnight, according to police, in what witnesses say was a Juneteenth celebration turned deadly.

The shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. in a parking lot in Willowbrook, about 21 miles west of Chicago. Witnesses say people were gathered in the area to celebrate Juneteenth.

Some of the injured were transported to hospitals by ambulance and others walked in, DuPage County Deputy Sheriff Eric Swanson told reporters Sunday.

At least 12 ambulances responded to the scene, Ostrander said.

Ten patients were transported to four hospitals with injuries ranging from graze wounds to more serious gunshot wounds, and two people were in critical condition, Joe Ostrander, battalion chief of the Tri-State Fire Protection District said earlier.

The motive behind the shooting is unclear and it is still an active investigation, Swanson said.

It joins a growing list of celebrations interrupted by gunfire, like the graduation ceremony in Virginia, the NBA championship celebration in Colorado and the birthday party in California, all in the last month.

The incident is now one of 310 mass shootings in the US this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

After the 2022 shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, less than 40 miles from Willowbrook, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a ban on assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines in the state. The ban faced immediate legal challenges, but the Supreme Court refused an emergency request from gun rights advocates to block the ban in May.

“This shooting shows that even states with strong gun laws like Illinois are not immune from gun violence due to our incredibly weak federal laws and weak laws in neighboring states.” Kris Brown, president of Brady, the country’s oldest gun violence prevention organization, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, because of the gun industry’s influence on our lawmakers, there is no place in America that’s safe from gun violence,” Brown said.

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