Juneteenth Celebration Near Chicago Ends With 23 Shot, 1 dead

At least 23 people were shot, and one was killed, near southwest suburban Willowbrook early Sunday morning after a Juneteenth celebration turned violent.

The shooting occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on Route 83 near Honeysuckle Rose Lane. A large group gathered at a strip mall parking lot for a Juneteenth celebration when an unknown number of shooters in two groups started firing at each other and into the crowd.

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DuPage County deputies were at the scene monitoring the activities but were called away to a nearby 911 call that was possibly a diversion. While at the 911 call, deputies heard the shooting start and returned to the shopping center.

“Out of nowhere, there was a major gunfight for like 30 seconds. I’d say 60-plus rounds. You could tell it was two different groups of people shooting at each other,” said witness Bartosz Majerczyk.

Several people were injured while trying to run from the gunfire, police said. Two victims are in critical condition, while others suffered minor wounds.

Juneteenth Shooting


The person killed has not yet been identified.

A massive police presence remained on the scene investigating until about 9 a.m. Dozens of shell casings littered the parking lot. The strip mall where it happened was still shut down on Sunday afternoon as the investigation into the shooting continues.

The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. A spokesperson said they still have not identified those responsible. No one is in custody.

“Victims were taken to multiple hospitals in DuPage, Cook, and Will counties. The ages and conditions of the victims are not available at this time. The motive behind this incident is unclear,” said DuPage County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Eric Swanson.

One woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was there when the gunfire erupted.

“Everybody started running. There was a man. He fell on top of me. He had a gunshot wound to his leg. It was like something you can’t imagine,” she said.

Detectives are interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage.

The businesses and areas near the shooting will remain closed until further notice.

The sheriff’s office asked that anyone with information call 630-407-2000.

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U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, said in a statement:

“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.

“I’m thankful for the first responders who attended to the victims last night and will continue to work with local authorities to stay updated on the situation.”

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