Police have launched an investigation into a mass shooting that killed one person and injured 22 others in southwest suburban Willowbrook on Sunday morning. The shooting happened during a Juneteenth celebration around 12:30 a.m., police said.
About 200 people had gathered for a party in a parking lot in the vicinity of Hinsdale Lake Terrace at Honeysuckle Lane and Route 83 in Willowbrook when gunfire broke out. CBS 2 reports that an unknown number of suspects fired between 20 and 30 gunshots into the crowd at the party, killing one person and hurting 22 others. Those injured are receiving treatment at hospitals in the area.
The police are yet to identify the victims but family members told CBS 2 that a young father called Reggie Meadows was shot and killed. Meadows, who was the father and sole caretaker of two children, was a “beacon of love and strength,” his family said to CBS 2.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a tweet: “The President and First Lady are thinking of those killed and injured in the shooting in Illinois last night. We have reached out to offer assistance to state and local leaders in the wake of this tragedy at a community Juneteenth celebration.”
Congressman Sean Casten also released a statement following the shooting: “I’m heartbroken to see the news from Willowbrook this morning. We live in a tragic reality where you cannot go to school, go to the grocery store, go to your place of worship, or celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Juneteenth without fear of being shot. Change is needed – we cannot allow this to be the status quo.”
There have been about 310 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. “It was chaotic. Chaos, pure chaos,” Nayetta Reed, 43, who was in the crowd on Sunday but was unhurt, told Chicago Sun-Times, adding that she heard about 100 shots in 10 or 15 seconds.