BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 18, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 18, 2023
1 year ago

Juneteenth Celebration Turns Into Mass Shooting in Strict Gun Control Illinois

A shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in Illinois left at least 20 people wounded and one dead.

The shooting took place Sunday at about 12:30 a.m. in Willowbrook, which is about 21 miles west of Chicago, according to CNN.

"It was supposed to be like a Juneteenth celebration," witness Markeshia Avery said, according to WLS-TV.

"We just started hearing shooting, so we dropped down until they stopped. They just kept going. After that, we literally scattered away,” she said.

"We just heard gunshots; at first it was one, but then it was a whole bunch of gunshots. After then we started running like, 'yo.' I looked at my friend, and we took off, running like crazy," another witness Zaviar Sheikh said.

"It was chaos," witness Craig Lotcie said, according to WFLD.


Earlier this year, Illinois passed a law to ban what lawmakers called "assault weapons." In fact, the website World Population Review ranked Illinois as the eight-strictest state for gun control in the nation.

Joe Ostrander, battalion chief of the Tri-State Fire Protection District said at least 12 ambulances responded to the scene, according to CNN.

The motive for the shooting is not known, DuPage County Deputy Sheriff Eric Swanson said.

Swanson said deputies were on patrol near the area of "a large gathering" when they heard shots and responded, according to Fox News.

"It was chaotic. Chaos, pure chaos,” said Nayetta Reed, who was at the event, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Reed said she had helped break up at least two fights among teenage girls before the shooting but did not think the shooting was related to those events.

Reed estimated she heard at least 100 gunshots in a time span of 10 to 15 seconds.

“Since Juneteenth has come about, we’ve been celebrating. And usually the sheriffs are out here with us. It’s very controlled, it’s peaceful,” Reed said. “I don’t know what happened. I really don’t know what happened last night. It just went left. We’ll probably never do another one.”

She and attendee David Barnes said the annual party was usually for residents of nearby apartments, but this year drew a larger crowd that included new participants.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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