Jewish victims among dead as gunman opens fire on Chicago July 4th parade
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Jewish victims among dead as gunman opens fire on Chicago July 4th parade

Members of a local synagogue are among at least six people are confirmed killed in Monday's shooting in Highland Park

A klezmer band was playing when a shooting interrupted a Fourth of July parade in a suburb of Chicago, killing at least six people and sending dozens more to local hospitals.

A congregant and staff member of a local synagogue was among those murdered, the synagogue announced on Monday night.

The mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, one of the most heavily Jewish suburbs in the Chicago area, is at least the 300th in the United States this year.

Eight hours after the shooting, law enforcement authorities said they had arrested a person of interest, a 21-year-old Highland Park native named Robert “Bobby” Crimo who they believed had fired from the roof of a building overlooking the parade route.

The authorities said five people, all adults, died at the scene and one died at an area hospital, and hospital officials said they had treated children among the injured.

“There is information about Jewish casualties,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told its staff, adding that its Chicago-based consul general, Yinam Cohen, was in touch with both authorities and local Jewish communities.

At least a third of the 30,000 residents in the suburb along Lake Michigan about 25 miles north of Chicago are Jewish, according to some estimates, and they include many Israelis.

A Chicago area law enforcement source confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Jews were among the casualties, although how many or their condition is not known.

The source said law enforcement was not yet speculating about motive.

On Monday night, North Shore Congregation Israel in neighbouring Glencoe announced that a congregant who also worked on the synagogue’s staff was among the victims.

Jacki Sundheim was the Reform synagogue’s events and b’nei mitzvah coordinator, according to its website.

Earlier in the day, synagogue leaders had posted a message about the shooting, saying, “This touches each of us deeply and personally; the grief, pain, and fear affect us all.”

Lynn Sweet, the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, posted a video showing the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, Chicago’s preeminent Jewish music group, playing in the parade as bystanders scatter and scream.

Sweet subsequently posted a picture showing bloodied bodies lying on the sidewalk.

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