6 Dead, 30 Hurt in Shooting 07/05 06:32
A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban
Chicago on Monday, killing at least six people, wounding at least 30 and
sending hundreds of marchers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles
fleeing in terror, police said.
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) -- A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an
Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago on Monday, killing at least six
people, wounding at least 30 and sending hundreds of marchers, parents with
strollers and children on bicycles fleeing in terror, police said.
Authorities said a man named as a person of interest in the shooting was
taken into police custody Monday evening after an hours-long manhunt in and
around Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago's north
The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American
life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all
become killing grounds in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the
nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still
hold it together.
"It definitely hits a lot harder when it's not only your hometown but it's
also right in front of you," resident Ron Tuazon said as he and a friend
returned to the parade route Monday evening to retrieve chairs, blankets and a
child's bike that he and his family abandoned when the shooting began.
"It's commonplace now," Tuazon said of what he called yet another American
atrocity. "We don't blink anymore. Until laws change, it's going to be more of
The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had
staked out prime viewing points early in the day for the annual celebration.
Dozens of fired bullets sent hundreds of parade-goers -- some visibly bloodied
-- fleeing. They left a trail of abandoned items that showed everyday life
suddenly, violently disrupted: A half-eaten bag of potato chips; a box of
chocolate cookies spilled onto the grass; a child's Chicago Cubs cap.
"There's no safe place," said Highland Park resident Barbara Harte, 73, who
had stayed away from the parade fearing a mass shooting, but later ventured
from her home.
Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said a police officer pulled over
Robert E. Crimo III about five miles north of the shooting scene, several hours
after police released the man's photo and an image of his silver Honda Fit, and
warned the public that he was likely armed and dangerous. Authorities initially
said he was 22, but an FBI bulletin and Crimo's social media said he was 21.
Police declined to immediately identify Crimo as a suspect but said
identifying him as a person of interest, sharing his name and other information
publicly was a serious step.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a
news conference "several of the deceased victims" died at the scene and one was
taken to a hospital and died there. Police have not released details about the
victims or wounded.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed at the parade
were adults, but didn't have information on the sixth victim who was taken to a
hospital and died there. One of those killed was a Mexican national, Roberto
Velasco, Mexico's director for North American affairs, said on Twitter Monday.
He said two other Mexicans were wounded.
NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack.
All but one had gunshot wounds, said Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of
emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated
that four or five patients were children.
Temple said 19 of them were treated and discharged. Others were transferred
to other hospitals, while two patients, in stable condition, remained at the
Highland Park hospital.
"It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our
uniquely American plague," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news
"I'm furious because it does not have to be this way... while we celebrate
the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly --
yes, weekly -- American tradition."
The shooter opened fire around 10:15 a.m., when the parade was about
three-quarters through, authorities said.
Highland Park Police Commander Chris O'Neill, the incident commander on
scene, said the gunman apparently used a "high-powered rifle" to fire from a
spot atop a commercial building where he was "very difficult to see." He said
the rifle was recovered at the scene. Police also found a ladder attached to
"Very random, very intentional and a very sad day," Covelli said.
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."
Biden signed the widest-ranging gun violence bill passed by Congress in
decades, a compromise that showed at once both progress on a long-intractable
issue and the deep-seated partisan divide that persists.
As a word of an arrest spread, residents who had hunkered in homes began
venturing outside, some walking toward where the shooting occurred. Several
people stood and stared at the scene, with abandoned picnic blankets, hundreds
of lawn chairs and backpacks still where they were when the shooting began.
Police believe there was only one shooter but warned that he should still be
considered armed and dangerous. Several nearby cities canceled events including
parades and fireworks, some of them noting that the Highland Park shooter was
still at large. The Chicago White Sox also announced on Twitter that a planned
post-game fireworks show is canceled due to the shooting.
More than 100 law enforcement officers were called to the parade scene or
dispatched to find the suspected shooter.
More than a dozen police officers on Monday surrounded a home listed as an
address for Crimo in Highland Park. Some officers held rifles as they fixed
their eyes on the home. Police blockaded roads leading to the home in a
tree-lined neighborhood near a golf course, allowing only select law
enforcement cars through a tight outer perimeter.
Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage
name Awake the Rapper, posting on social media dozens videos and songs, some
ominous and violent.
In one animated video since taken down by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies
"walking in darkness" as a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on
the ground and another figure with hands up in the distance. A later frame
shows a close-up of a chest with blood pouring out and another of police cars
arriving as the shooter holds his hands up.
In another video, in which Crimo appears in a classroom wearing a black
bicycle helmet, he says he is "like a sleepwalker... I know what I have to do,"
then adds, "Everything has led up to this. Nothing can stop me, even myself."
Crimo's father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of
Highland Park in 2019, calling himself "a person for the people."
Highland Park is a close-knit community of about 30,000 people located on
the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago, with mansions and sprawling
lakeside estates that have long drawn the rich and sometimes famous, including
NBA legend Michael Jordan, who lived in the city for years when he played for
the Chicago Bulls. John Hughes filmed parts of several movies in the city,
including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Sixteen Candles" and "Weird Science."
Ominous signs of a joyous event suddenly turned to horror filled both sides
of Central Avenue where the shooting occurred. Dozens of baby strollers -- some
bearing American flags, abandoned children's bikes and a helmet bedecked with
images of Cinderella were left behind. Blankets, lawn chairs, coffees and water
bottles were knocked over as people fled.
Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk
onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed was
fireworks -- until she heard people yell about a shooter. In a video that
Troiani shot on her phone, some of the kids are visibly startled at the loud
noise, and they scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.
"We just start running in the opposite direction," she told The Associated
Her 5-year-old son was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled
ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city
said on its website that the festivities were to include a children's bike and
Troiani said she pushed her son's bike, running through the neighborhood to
get back to their car.
"It was just sort of chaos," she said. "There were people that got separated
from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons,
grabbed their kids and started running."
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float
with coworkers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main route when she
saw people running from the area.
"People started saying: 'There's a shooter, there's a shooter, there's a
shooter,'" Glickman told the AP. "So we just ran. We just ran. It's like mass
chaos down there."
She didn't hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.
"I'm so freaked out," she said. "It's just so sad."