Fourth of July parade shooting leaves 6 dead and 30 injured; detained man

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) – A shooter fired at an Independence Day parade from a suburban Chicago rooftop, showering the crowd with gunfire initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked revelers of all ages fled in terror. At least six people were killed and at least 30 injured.

An hour-long manhunt in which residents hunkered down in businesses or had police escorts to their homes ended in a traffic stop and a brief chase on Monday night, when authorities arrested a man they described as a person of interest. They gave no motive for the attack on Highland Park, a close-knit community on the shores of Lake Michigan that has long attracted the rich and sometimes famous.

The 4th of July shooting was just the last to break 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 the nation tried to find a cause to celebrate its foundation and the ties that still hold it together.

“It certainly hits a lot harder when it’s not just your hometown, but it’s right in front of you,” resident Ron Tuazon said as he and a friend returned to the parade route Monday night to recuperate. chairs, blankets and a child’s bicycle that he and his family abandoned when the shooting began.

“It’s commonplace now,” Tuazon said. “We don’t blink anymore. Until the laws change, it will be more or less the same.

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out vantage points early in the day for the annual celebration.

Among them was Nicolas Toledo, who was visiting his family in Illinois from Mexico. He was shot and died at the scene, his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Jacki Sundheim, lifelong devotee and “beloved” staff member of North Shore Congregation Israel, who announced her death on her website, was also killed.

Dozens of bullets fired scared hundreds of parade spectators – some visibly bloodied. They left a trail of abandoned objects that showed everyday life suddenly, violently disrupted: a box of chocolate cookies spilled on the grass; a child’s Chicago Cubs cap; strollers, some sporting American flags.

“There is no safe place,” said Barbara Harte, 73, a resident of Highland Park, who had stayed away from the parade for fear of a mass shooting, but then walked away. ventured out of her home.

WARNING: The following video may contain graphic content.

One arrest has been made in the deadly July 4 shooting. (Credit: CNN, WLS, WBBM, RAINAN LOWERYL NETWORK PRODUCTIONS, RYAN LERMAN, HIGHLAND PARK PD)

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said an officer arrested Robert E. Crimo III about 8 miles north of the shooting scene, several hours after police released the photo of the man and warned that he was probably armed and dangerous.

Authorities initially said Crimo, whose father ran for mayor of Highland Park, 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, publicly sharing his name and other information was a serious step.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told a news conference that “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one died in a hospital. Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed in the parade were adults, but had no information on the sixth.

Police have not released details of the victims, but Toledo’s granddaughter told the Sun-Times that Toledo spent most of her life in Morelos, Mexico. Xochil Toledo said she remembered watching her grandfather, who was in his late 70s, as a group walked past them.

“He was so happy,” she said. “Happy to live in the present moment.”

Xochil Toledo said his father tried to protect his grandfather and was shot in the arm; her boyfriend was also shot in the back and was taken by someone to the nearby hospital because they weren’t sure there would be enough ambulances for all the victims.

Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director of North American affairs, said on Twitter that two Mexicans were also injured.

Sundheim had spent decades on the staff of North Shore Congregation Israel, teaching early in the congregation’s kindergarten and later as coordinator of events and B’nei Mitzvahs, “all with tireless dedication “, said the congregation in its statement announcing his death. .

“Jacki’s hard work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” the statement read.

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 were children.

“It is devastating that a celebration of America has been torn apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said at a press conference.

“While we only celebrate the 4th of July once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly American tradition – yes, weekly.”

Governor JB Pritzker speaks after a gunman opened fire during an Independence Day parade, killing at least six people and injuring at least 30. (WLS via CNN)

There have been 15 shootings in which four or more people have been killed so far this year, including the one in Highland Park, according to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Massacre Database.

The gunman opened fire around 10:15 a.m., when the parade was about three quarters full, authorities said.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander at the scene, said the shooter apparently used a ‘high powered rifle’ to fire from a location on top of a building commercial where he was “very hard to see”. He said the rifle was recovered from the scene. Police also found a ladder attached to the building.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC’s “Today” she didn’t know where the gun came from but was “obtained legally.”

President Joe Biden said Monday that he and First Lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again caused heartbreak in an American community on this Independence Day.”

In the last days, Biden has signed the most sweeping gun violence bill passed by Congress decades ago, a compromise that reflects both progress on a long unresolved issue and the deep partisan divide that persists.

Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posting dozens of videos and songs, some disturbing and violent, on social media.

In an animated video since removed by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “marching in darkness” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a gun, a body on the ground, and another figure with hands raised in the distance.

Crimo’s father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019, calling himself a “nobody for the people.”

The community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s North Shore has mansions and sprawling lakeside estates and was once home to NBA legend Michael Jordan. John Hughes filmed parts of several films in the city, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Sixteen Candles”, and “Weird Science”.

Gina Troiani and her 5-year-old son were lined up with her daycare class ready to march down the parade route when she heard a loud noise she thought was fireworks – until she heard people screaming about a shooter.

“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press. “There were people who were separated from their families, looking for them. Others simply dropped their carts, grabbed their children and started running.

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Foody contributed from Chicago. Associated Press writers Martha Irvine and Mike Householder in Highland Park; Mike Balsamo and Bernard Condon in New York; David Koenig in Dallas; Jeff Martin in Woodstock, Georgia; Fabiola Sánchez in Monterrey, Mexico; and Jim Mustian in New Orleans contributed reporting.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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