Six people are dead and at least 24 injured after a gunman opened fire at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, an Illinois suburb, core business district. When gunfire broke out, hundreds of people were forced to flee for their safety, leaving behind chairs, blankets, and even baby strollers.
Police claim that the shooter approached them from a nearby rooftop, where he apparently gained access via an unlocked ladder. They think the offender acted alone. Authorities said that a rifle with a high caliber was taken into custody at the scene.
Robert E. Crime, III, a 22-year-old man identified earlier in the day as a “person of interest” in the investigation, was taken into custody by police on Monday night after being stopped by a North Chicago officer who sought to begin a traffic stop, according to a press conference.
According to police, Crime, also known as “Bobby,” engaged the officer in a brief pursuit before being apprehended without further incident. Crimo is still a “person of interest,” according to police, who indicated in their evening news conference that he is not yet a suspect as they look into the incident. Later on Monday, authorities are anticipated to provide an update.
Crimo had previously been labeled as “armed and dangerous” by Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen. Commander Chris O’Neil has ordered locals to take cover and avoid the scene, which is still under investigation.
In a news conference held at around 2:00 p.m. local time, Chris Covelli, a representative of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, stated that the shooting started at 10:14 a.m., less than 15 minutes after the procession was supposed to start. He claimed that the march was roughly three-fourths of the way through at the time.
In a press conference that followed at 3:25 p.m., Lake County Coroner Jennifer Bank reported that five persons passed away at the scene and one passed away while being taken to the hospital. Adults died at the scene, according to Bank, while at least one child was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, according to the police, was a child.
The deceased were not given ages or names, but according to Bank, they have been identified and efforts are being made to get in touch with their families. Anyone who may have video surveillance of the area before, after, or during the incident is urged to send it over to police, including bystanders and business owners. Through their official website or by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI, the FBI is also gathering data.
Additionally, the Highland Park Police Department’s main office is home to a reunification program. Want to stay up to date on crime news? Get the True Crime Newsletter by clicking here to learn about intriguing unsolved cases, current trial coverage, and breaking crime news.
Soon after the incident was first reported, the City of Highland Park made a Facebook post about it. According to the city, “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park.” “All Fourth of July celebrations have been postponed. Avoid Highland Park’s downtown at all costs. If you’re in downtown HP, seek safety. As further information becomes available, it will be disclosed.
According to the city, there were police and firetrucks on the scene for the march. The incident was attended by additional emergency personnel from all around Lake County, and at least ten ambulances were sent for. People are being warned to stay away from the city’s core.
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The Glenview, Illinois police immediately announced the cancellation of their July 4 events on Twitter after the incident in Highland Park. By driving, Glenview may be reached from Highland Park in about 10 minutes.
The announcement read, “The Glenview Fourth of July Parade has been canceled due to local occurrences and out of an abundance of caution.” “Glenview has not experienced any incidents or direct threats. The parade area is currently being cleared by Glenview Police. This evening’s fireworks display is still going on.
Other nearby communities have followed suit, including Evanston, Illinois, which also canceled its parade. They also shut down their beaches.
In the Aftermath of The Gunshot, According to Parade Witnesses, There Was Confusion and Pandemonium
As a parade spectator, Miles Zaremski told CNN, “At first I heard a pop and I assumed maybe it was a backfire from one of the trucks that had gone earlier or a firecracker.” “And then there were numerous pops, and having been in the service for a very long time, it was more of an AR-15 or other weapon than a handgun or rifle. I would estimate that I hear around 30 pops. Additionally, there was a gap between the first and second sets of pops. The mob then proceeded to surge and stampede. It was just disorderly.
“I saw bodies that appeared to be dead, and there was blood on the sidewalk. Even a small boy whose parents were pampering him caught my eye. It was disgusting,” stated Zaremski.
In a news conference, Covelli informed reporters that numerous participants bravely acted to aid the hurt. He promised to relate those tales in the days that followed.
In a statement, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said, “Our neighborhood was frightened in a violent act that has shocked us to our core.” We were supposed to come together to celebrate freedom and community, but now we’re lamenting the unfortunate deaths and coping with the trauma that was inflicted upon us.
Additionally, President Joe Biden issued a statement about the shooting, expressing horror at the “senseless gun violence that has yet again brought sadness to an American community on this Independence Day.” First Lady Jill Biden also made a statement about the shooting.
“As always, we appreciate the assistance of the law enforcement and emergency personnel. I have spoken with Mayor Rotering and Governor Pritzker, and I have given their cities the full support of the Federal government,” he stated. “I also accelerated Federal law enforcement to help in the urgent hunt for the shooter, who is still at large at this moment,” the statement continued.
“Community members should heed the advice of local leadership, and I will watch with vigilance as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with severe wounds,” said Biden. “I recently signed into law the first significant piece of bipartisan legislation on gun control in thirty years, which includes measures that will save lives. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, and I won’t stop battling the scourge of gun violence.
J.B. Pritzker, the governor of Illinois, later addressed the tragedy in a speech on Monday night. Six families got up this morning to participate in a local Independence Day celebration, he added. Tonight they will go to bed less than full.
The governor continued, “There are no words for the kind of wickedness that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof, and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle. There are no words I can say to ease the suffering of those families who will now equate the Fourth of July with mourning rather than celebration.
He continued by talking about gun violence, adding, “It is heartbreaking that our distinctively American plague tore apart a celebration of America. The one freedom that our country refused to maintain has been brought to sharp attention by a day devoted to freedom. the liberty of our countrymen to live without the constant worry of gun violence.”
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