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Everything we know about the mass shooting in Highland Park during the 4th of July celebrations that left 6 dead


4th of July celebrations in Highland Park, Illinois end in terror after a mass shooting leaves 6 dead and dozens injured.

This was the moment when a parade was shot on the 4th of July 0:55

Highland Park, Illinois (CNN) --

A day of national celebration turned into tragedy Monday when a gunman killed six people and injured dozens of others at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, leaving the nation in mourning for another mass shooting.

The suspected shooter, identified by authorities as Robert E. Crimo III, used a "high-powered rifle" in an attack that appeared to be "random" and "intentional," police said.

They believe the man, who was arrested later Monday, climbed onto the roof of a business and opened fire on the parade about 20 minutes after it began.

Passersby initially thought the sound of gunshots that ripped through the sunny parade just after 10 a.m. on the city's Central Avenue, about 25 miles north of Chicago, was fireworks, until hundreds of attendees began to flee in terror, abandoning strollers, chairs and paraphernalia bearing the American flag strewn in the streets.

  • PHOTOS |

    The 4th of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois

Eyewitnesses described how they grabbed their children and families and ran for their lives, with some hiding behind dumpsters or in nearby shops for safety amid the chaos.

One parade-goer described seeing a girl shot to death, another saw a man shot in the ear and his face covered in blood.


"It looked like a combat zone, and it's disgusting. It's really disgusting," said Zoe Pawelczak, who attended the Independence Day parade with her father.

The carnage puts an end to an already bloody American spring and summer: There have been more than 300 mass shootings in the United States in the past 186 days, according to data compiled by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. that tracks these types of incidents.

"There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a rooftop and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle," Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said. "It's devastating that a America's celebration has been torn apart by our uniquely American plague.

Police captured the suspect near Lake Forest, Illinois after an intense manhunt throughout the Chicago area.

He was arrested after leading a brief car chase before being arrested.

Evidence of firearms was found on the roof of a business near the shooting, Police Commander Chris O'Neill said Monday.

The attacker used a ladder attached to the wall of the building from an alley to access the roof, said Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

Among the six people killed, five adults died at the scene and one in the hospital, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

The age of the sixth victim is still unclear.

A total of 26 patients were received at Highland Park Hospital, said Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of NorthShore University Health System.

The injured were aged between 8 and 85 years;

four or five patients were children, Temple said.

He said 19 of the 25 gunshot wounds were treated and have been released.

There were gunshot wounds to the extremities, as well as more central parts of the body, he added.

need to do more

Last year was the worst year on record since the Gun Violence Archive began tracking mass shootings in 2014. There were a total of 692 mass shootings in the United States in 2021, according to the organization.

The Highland Park attack comes after several recent mass shootings that have shocked the nation, including the racist attack of an 18-year-old in a New York supermarket that killed 10 people and the shooting of another 18-year-old in a Texas school that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

  • 'People just falling and falling': Witnesses describe terror at Illinois parade shooting

Following those massacres, President Joe Biden signed the first federal gun safety law in decades, marking a major bipartisan breakthrough on one of Washington's most contentious political issues.

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said during a visit to Highland Park late Monday that more needs to be done on gun legislation.

"There is no reason for a person to own a military assault weapon. It has no value for hunting, or for sport, or even for self-defense," he said.

"He's a killing machine."

What we know about the shooting suspect

Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Serious Crimes Task Force, said law enforcement officers "processed a significant amount of digital evidence," which helped investigators identify Crimo as the suspect.

"This individual is believed to have been responsible for what happened and the investigation will continue. Charges have not been approved at this time, and we are a long way from that," he said.

Crimo, who calls himself "Awake the Rapper," posted music videos online on several major streaming media outlets and on a personal website, some of which featured animated scenes of gun violence.

One person arrested in connection with Highland Park shooting 2:56

In a video titled "Are you Awake," a cartoon animation of a stick figure attacker—resembling Crimo's appearance—in tactical gear is seen carrying out an attack with a rifle.

Crimo is seen narrating, "I have to. It's my destiny."

The suspect's uncle, Paul A. Crimo, told CNN he had spoken at length with law enforcement on Monday and described his nephew as a "calm, lonely person."

He said he is not aware of any political views of his nephew, although he described him as active on YouTube.

His brother, who is the suspect's father, previously ran for mayor.

"I am heartbroken for all the families who have lost their lives," said Paul Crimo.

horror stories

Witnesses told stories of sheer terror following the shooting in the affluent Chicago suburb.

Miles Zaremski said he heard what he thought were 20 to 30 shots, in two consecutive bursts of gunfire, around 10:20 a.m. CT, shortly after the parade began.

He told CNN that he saw several people on the ground and bloodied and described the scene as chaotic.

Zoe Pawelczak, who attended the Independence Day parade with her father, said parade-goers initially thought the series of bursts were fireworks, given the occasion.

"And I thought something was wrong. I grabbed my father and started running. Suddenly everyone behind us started running," he said.

"I looked back, probably twenty feet away from me. I saw a girl who had been shot and killed."

A Lake County police officer walks down Central Ave in Highland Park on Monday.

Jeff Leon and his wife were about to watch their 14-year-old twin sons march in the parade with their high school football team when gunfire erupted.

"We were going to try to catch them," Leon said.

They then saw a man "who had an obvious extremely deep gunshot wound along the right side of his head, above his temple."

Leon said he heard maybe 20 or 30 bangs before looking to his right and seeing police moving and people falling.

Steve Tilken told CNN he took refuge in the basement of a store with his wife, two grandchildren and dozens of others while police scoured the area for the shooter.

"We were like ducks sitting right there and a bullet could go through all of our bodies," he said.

CNN's Joe Sutton, Shawn Nottingham, Chuck Johnston, Curt Devine, Eric Levenson, Claudia Dominguez, Melissa Alonso, Brynn Gingras, Steve Almasy, Jeff Winter, Yahya Abou-Ghazala, David Williams and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

Illinois Shootings in the United States

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-07-05

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