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Two dead, 12 injured in Halloween party shooting in Illinois

One of the suspects is believed to opened fire from an elevated porch overlooking the crowd, authorities said.

Authorities in Illinois were searching Sunday for two suspects who are believed to have opened fire on a Halloween party, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen.

The shooting occurred early Sunday morning at a house party in Joliet, southwest of Chicago, at an event attended by an estimated 200 people, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Gunfire erupted near a DJ booth in the backyard, the sheriff’s office said.

Citing witnesses, the sheriff’s office said one of the men — described as a Hispanic male wearing a red hoodie — fired from an elevated porch overlooking the crowd.

The second shooter was described as a light-skinned man wearing a ski mask and yellow hoodie.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. Neither were identified. Four others were taken to local hospitals, the statement said.

Additional details about the incident were not immediately available.

The gunmen opened fire less than an hour after a separate shooting at a Halloween party in East Texas left one person dead and nine injured. A suspect has not been identified in that incident either.

The shootings came amid what experts have called an “unprecedented” surge in murders in the United States. According to FBI data released last month, the category of violent crime rose by 30 percent last year — although the country’s homicide rate is still lower than it was during most of the 1990s.

Rapes, aggravated assaults and other violent crimes rose by 5 percent during the same period, the data show.

Experts aren’t sure what’s behind the surge in crime, though some have pointed to the pandemic and gun ownership as possible explanations.