Posted on June 19, 2023

1 Dead, at Least 22 Hurt in a Shooting at a Juneteenth Celebration in Willowbrook, Illinois, Police Say

Jamiel Lynch and Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN, June 18, 2023

At least 22 people were injured and one person was killed by gunfire overnight in Illinois, in a peaceful Juneteenth celebration turned deadly, police say.

An unknown number of suspects fired multiple rounds from multiple weapons into the large crowd of people gathered to celebrate Juneteenth, according to a statement from the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.

Several other victims were injured in the chaos as people attempted to flee the area, and victims are being treated at hospitals in the area, the sheriff’s office said.

No suspects are in custody, police said.

The shooting took place around 12:30 a.m. in a parking lot in Willowbrook, about 21 miles west of Chicago.

A large group of people gathered for the celebration from around 6 p.m. on Saturday, and police were at the site to monitor the event, the sheriff’s office said.

The officers were called away around 12:25 a.m. to respond to a 911 call reporting a fight nearby.

“As deputies responded, they heard gunshots and immediately returned to the scene of the gathering,” the sheriff’s office said.

Witnesses said the parking lot was still filled with people when the sound of gunshots rang out and the scene turned chaotic. Some people started running.

Markeshia Avery, who was there at the time of the shooting, said she dropped to the ground.

“We dropped down. We dropped down until they stopped. They just kept going,” Avery told reporters at the scene. “After that, we literally scattered away and just started trying to check on everybody that we knew.”