At least six people were killed in a mass shooting at a July 4 parade in the affluent community of Highland Park, Illinois, just 20 miles north of Chicago, local officials said
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade started around 10 a.m. Monday but was suddenly stopped 10 minutes later after gunfire was heard. Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, a “person of interest” in the shooting, was later taken into custody. According to NBC News, Crimo left “a long trail of tributes to mass shootings and public killings on social media platforms.”
Spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force Christopher Covelli told a press conference that the gunman opened fire on parade-goers from a rooftop with a “high-powered rifle” recovered at the scene. According to WGN News, he didn’t know which building.
A witness, Miles Zaremski, told CNN he heard what he thought was 20 to 25 shots. He said it was an AR-15 style weapon and saw at least one person lying on the ground covered in blood. “I felt sick,” said Zaremski.
“On a day when we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we instead mourn the tragic loss of life and grapple with the terror that has been brought upon us,” said the Mayor of Highland Park Nancy Rotering said.
representative Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) was scheduled to attend the parade and confirmed in a post on Twitter the shooting and the apparent loss of life.
“My campaign team and I were gathering at the beginning of the parade when the shooting started. My team and I are safe and secure,” he said.
Like many small towns in the US, the annual Highland Park parade was designed to celebrate Independence Day and community. Instead, it’s now another staggering statistic in the seemingly relentless attacks on fellow Americans, using a large-caliber rifle as hundreds of participants ran for their lives, leaving behind clothing, food and chairs.
Illinois governor JB Pritzker said in a statement: “There are no words for the kind of monster that’s lying in wait shooting at a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community.” He added: “We must – and we will.” – end this plague of gun violence.”
Debbie Glickmana Highland Park resident said she was on a float with colleagues and the group was about to turn onto the main route when she saw people from the area running away.
“People started saying, ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,'” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
The Highland Park attack is the deadliest incident following recent massacres, including an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two adults at a school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24. Just ten days earlier, a racist attack had resulted in the deaths of 10 black men at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York.
This article has been updated as information becomes available.
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