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Mass shooting during Juneteenth celebration in Willowbrook leaves 1 dead, 22 hurt

Young father killed in Willowbrook mass shooting
Young father killed in Willowbrook mass shooting 01:50

WILLOWBROOK, Ill. (CBS) – Police are investigating after one person was killed and 22 others were hurt in a mass shooting in southwest suburban Willowbrook early Sunday morning.

The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. during a Juneteenth celebration among teens and young adults.

CBS 2's Asal Rezaei reported from the scene where DuPage County police say a crowd gathered for a party in a parking lot in the vicinity of Hinsdale Lake Terrace at Honeysuckle Rose Lane and Route 83 in Willowbrook. Police were already in the area monitoring the scene since 6 p.m.

Around 12:25 a.m., police were called away due to an alleged 911 call of a fight that had broken out nearby. As deputies responded, they heard gunshots and immediately returned to the gathering. There, an unknown number of suspects fired multiple rounds into the crowd, according to police. 

One person was killed, and 22 others were wounded as a result of the shooting. Several others were also hurt in an attempt to run from the area. The victims are being treated at several area hospitals, police said. 

The DuPage County Medical Examiner confirmed Reggie Meadows, 31, of Willowbrook was killed in the shooting. 

A close friend of the victim told CBS 2, Meadows is the father and sole caretaker of two children. He is described as a  "beacon of love and strength." 

Witnesses say a car drove up and someone in the passenger side opened fire. Between 20 and 30 gunshots were fired into a crowd of over 200 teens and young adults who were gathered for what is usually a fun and safe time. 

Debris and some trash were left behind in the aftermath. A dozen ambulances were also on the scene. 

Shardaa Gray
Shardaa Gray

One woman says she was scared for her life.

"I got kids to come back home to. I'm not used to this. I wasn't expecting it, but you just never know. Anything can happen anywhere," she said.

Another man who attended the event said he heard a lot of gunshots.

"Anything could've happened. It was a lot of people out. We were all having a good time but, you know," he said. 

The ages and conditions of the victims are unknown. There is no word on a possible motive. 

Congressman Sean Casten released a statement in response to 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.

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.

Gov. JB Pritzker also released a statement Sunday afternoon: 

I am closely monitoring the violent shooting that took place in Willowbrook last night. 

Gathering for a holiday celebration should be a joyful occasion, not a time where gunfire erupts and families are forced to run for safety. As I've said time and time again, gun violence is a public health emergency in this country and I remain committed to banning these dangerous weapons and making our state safer for everyone. 

As we continue to learn more, I want to thank our first responders who were on the scene and our doctors and nurses who are working to help the injured. MK and I send our deepest condolences to everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence. 

Detectives are conducting interviews with all the victims and witnesses, and are reviewing camera footage from the area - including video from the cell phones of attendees. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted about the shooting, saying: "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."

Businesses and the area of where the shooting occurred will remain closed until further notice.

No one is in custody.

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