Several gunmen opened fire at a parking lot in suburban Chicago where people gathered to celebrate a federal holiday, the sheriff’s office said

One person was killed and at least 22 were injured when several people opened fire at a crowd in a parking lot in Willowbrook, a suburb of Chicago, where people came to celebrate Juneteenth, police said on Sunday.

“We know of 22 victims injured and one victim killed by gunfire. Several other victims were also injured while attempting to flee the area,” the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

According to the sheriff’s office, the deputies were watching over the gathering but had to leave shortly after midnight to respond to a call about a fight at another location. They rushed back to the parking lot after hearing gunshots.

Deputy Chief Eric Swanson told reporters that the motive behind the shooting was unclear. Sheriff’s spokesman Robert Carrol said that police were interviewing “persons of interests.”

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Local resident Rick Wagner told the Daily Herald that 300 to 400 people had gathered in the parking lot at a strip mall when the shooting happened. 

Overall, at least five people were killed and 35 were injured in separate incidents across Chicago on Saturday and Sunday, according to the media. In one instance, two teenagers were shot, one fatally. 

Juneteenth, during which people commemorate the end of slavery in the US, was made a federal holiday in 2021.

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