Fourth of July festivities cascaded into bloody mayhem in the Illinois city of Highland Park when bursts of gunfire were heard over the celebratory music and screaming spectators ran for their lives.
A video, which was among the first from the incident to go viral, captured the panic and chaos that unfolded during the parade as shots rang out on Monday.
Appearing to be captured from the mobile phone of a teenage reveller, the video began by showing families sitting on the kerb, watching a marching band go past.
But suddenly the band members broke into a run and sprinted off in the direction of the parade route as watchers started to leap up from the ground.
The video footage then appeared to show the face of the teenage boy who was running in terror. He said: “Oh my god those are gunshots. I can’t believe I have to record that.”
The event featuring food, live music, carnival rides, games and fireworks for America’s Independence Day had to be cancelled after the 15th mass killing of 2022 and the 11th mass shooting of the holiday weekend, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Halfway through the year, there have been at least 309 mass shootings.
Another video from the parade showed a chilling video of a woman running with a baby stroller along with several other parade-goers as loud burst of gunshots reverberated for several seconds in the area.
People screamed and continued to flee in the opposite direction from where the shots were being fired as officers ran towards their origin, the recording — appeared to be shot from an apartment window — showed.
A third video, with more than a million views, showed elderlies among family members sitting on chairs on the pavement as two consecutive rounds of shots were fired. The camera’s vision blurred as people tried to figure out what had happened.
Sara Hainsfurther, a 36-year-old native of Highland Park who was at the parade with her family when the shooting took place, said she had been attending almost every one of these since she was a child.
“Not even five minutes after, very shortly after, the police and firetrucks part of the parade had gone by I heard a ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop’,” Ms Hainsfurther told AP.
“My mom said ‘wow, those are really loud,’ and I looked to see if they were muskets, because you know sometimes they use those old guns in the fourth of July parade.... The popping didn’t stop though, again it went pop, pop, pop, pop, pop and I turned and I said ‘those are gun shots, run’.”
On Tuesday, Nicolas Toledo, a grandfather from Mexico in his 70s and Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a Highland Park synagogue, were confirmed as the first victims of the shooting.