The Slatest

The Haunting Scene in Highland Park, Illinois, Hours After the July 4 Shooting

An empty street, littered with abandoned camping chairs and closed off with CAUTION tape.
The crime scene. Justin Peters

HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois—At 10:14 Monday morning, an as-yet-unidentified gunman shot and killed six people at an Independence Day parade in this bucolic North Shore suburb of Chicago. [Update, July 5, 2022, at 10:30 a.m.: A 21-year-old “person of interest” in the shooting has been taken into custody.]

Almost five hours later, the streets are cordoned off and empty except for police officers, media members, and a few oblivious cyclists who, one by one, slow to a halt at the corner of St John’s Avenue and Central Avenue, gaze at the taped-off downtown area, and ask what happened here. Abandoned parade chairs and baby strollers line the sidewalks, a short walk from where the shooting happened. As 3 p.m. approaches, the previously sunny skies are darkened by storm clouds. A police officer says investigators are scrambling to secure evidence before the rain washes it away. A short time later, a light drizzle starts to fall.

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Below, photos from the scene in Highland Park on Monday, in the interim period after the shooting and before the suspect was captured.

Abandoned chairs line the south side of Central Avenue.
Abandoned chairs line the south side of Central Avenue. Justin Peters
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A double stroller sitting at an empty corner.
An abandoned stroller a block away from the Highland Park Library. Justin Peters
A cyclist pauses in the otherwise abandoned streets.
This cyclist was on a ride to nearby Lake Forest and stopped to look at the scene. “What happened?” he asked me. Justin Peters
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More abandoned chairs, and a veterans memorials, and police officers gathering.
Police officers at the intersection of Central and St John’s, next to Veterans Memorial Park. Justin Peters
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More abandoned strollers.
Outside Salon Lofts on St. John’s Ave. Justin Peters
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More CAUTION tape.
Police blocked off the area. Justin Peters
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A green and black Ravinia Brewing Co. beer truck
A Ravinia Brewing Co. beer truck goes unused. Justin Peters
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Police, media, and onlookers look west on Central Ave. toward the crime scene.
Police, media, and onlookers look west on Central Ave. toward the crime scene. Justin Peters
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A sniper sets up on the roof of Port Clinton Square in downtown Highland Park.
A sniper sets up on the roof of Port Clinton Square in downtown Highland Park. Justin Peters
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More abandoned chairs.
Justin Peters
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