Five people were killed and at least 16 hospitalized after gunfire erupted at a Fourth of July parade route in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday, officials said, as panicked spectators fled the scene.

Iran PressAmerica: Every year thousands of people lose their lives or get wounded by gunshot attacks. Based on official statistics there are around 270 to 300 million guns in the US, which is almost one gun for every American. 

In 2020 alone, 19,384 people were killed in gun homicides, showing a 35 percent increase from the previous year and the largest one-year increase in gun homicides on record.

The city of Highland Park reported on its website that five people were dead and 16 were transferred to a hospital.

The gunman opened fire on parade-goers from a concealed position on a rooftop using a "high-powered rifle'' that was recovered at the scene, according to task force spokesman Covelli.

"Numerous law enforcement officers are responding and have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park," the statement said.

Police arrested a 22-year-old man suspected in a deadly shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, a suburb of the US city of Chicago, police said. 

US President Joe Biden on Monday said he and first lady Jill Biden were "shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day.'' 

The shooting comes with gun violence fresh on the minds of many Americans, after a massacre on May 24 that killed 19 school children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the May 14 attack that killed 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. 219

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